Residents will find out in early June whether the first marijuana shop proposed for Haverhill is approved.

City Council is scheduled to vote June 4 on a shop proposed for property at the Haverhill-Plaistow line.

Last week, the council postponed its vote on a request for a special permit to open the shop to June 4 to give the applicants time to revise their parking plan so it doesn't include shuttling some customers from a lot next to the Mobil gas station on Amesbury Road.

City Councilor William Macek, who suggested the postponement, asked the applicant for a matrix that would include an hourly maximum number of appointments for every hour of the week to learn how the flow of customers would be managed.

Janet Kupris of Weymouth is seeking a special permit to open an adult-use marijuana establishment called Full Harvest Moonz Inc. at 95 Plaistow Road in a plaza thick with restaurants. One of the most contentious issues is to bus some customers from a distance due to minimal parking at the proposed site.

At a public hearing Tuesday night of last week, none of the 40 or so residents who attended spoke in favor of the permit request. However, several were opposed, including Shattuck Street resident Chris Todino, who said he has the support of his neighbors.

"Not one of the people who spoke actually live in Haverhill," Todino said about Kupris, CEO of Full Harvest Moonz who brought several team members to assist in outlining her proposal. "We are going to be left with the aftermath of what is going to come to the city with regards to having these establishments."

Todino said the traffic on Plaistow Road is already bad and will get worse as that area continues to be developed.

"It's all been redeveloped with a Chipotle right there, a Five Guys right there, a Japanese steak house that's going to be opening ... there's no way to control where people are parking in what establishment they're going to," Todino said.

Todino was also upset that he and his neighbors did not receive much notice as to what the city did in terms of zoning changes to allow for retail marijuana establishments.

"If the city can send robo calls about when trash is getting moved and what side of the street to park on in the winter, then we should be able to get notifications of when these types of things are coming up and are potentially going to impact our property values, our quality of life," Todino said. "It doesn't fall on me as not noticing that the CEO of this company's own town is not even allowing the sale of marijuana.

"This is just the beginning of the end for us, unless you ladies and gentlemen stem the tide and stop this," Todino said to city councilors.

Bernadine Angelo told the council she and her neighbors feel they were completely left out of the discussion.

"I'm furious," Angelo told councilors. "You have trashed this community and we're not going to put up with it. You're not doing it."

Haverhill Public School pediatrician Dr. John Maddox asked the council to consider creating a ballot question for the November election, limiting the number of retail marijuana locations in the city.

City Solicitor William Cox said the state requires the city to offer a minimum of six sites, and that even if voters approved such a ballot question, three applicants who are scheduled for special permit hearings would be grandfathered in.

The council is expected to discuss a proposal by Councilor Joseph Bevilaqua at its June 4 meeting to create such as ballot question.

Maddox also asked the council if it could use some of the money the city would receive from Full Harvest Moonz as part of its host agreement for various purposes, such as funding the annual student risk survey, which costs about $10,000 and to include this requirement as a condition of a special permit.

Cox said the council could not include this as a special permit condition, but that the council plays a role in the appropriations process.

Kupris is proposing to demolish the building that houses Jimmy K's restaurant, which has plans to relocate in the same plaza, and build a new retail marijuana facility equipped with a host of security features, as was outlined by a security expert, a former New Hampshire police chief.

Kupris was represented at last week's council meeting by lawyer Michael Migliori of Haverhill.

According to Kupris' business plan, recreational customers will be required to make an appointment during the initial weeks of operation, with time slots available in 15-minute increments. She said she plans to operate six cash registers and anticipates an average transaction as lasting less then 10 minutes.

Councilors Mary Ellen Daly O'Brien and Tim Jordan voiced their concerns over increased traffic on Route 125 once Harvest Moonz opens.

Kupris is first of three pot shop applicants poised to request special permits to open. A fourth is still in the application stages.

Haverhill Stem LLC is scheduled to go before the council on June 18 with a request for a special permit to open a shop at 124 Washington St.

A third applicant, CNA Stores Inc., proposes opening a shop at 558 River St. in an area where several commercial businesses are located. CNA's special permit request is scheduled to go before the council in July. Migliori is representing CNA as well.

A fourth concern, Haverwell Market LLC, announced its plans to open a retail marijuana store at 399 Amesbury Road and is expected to file a request for a special permit.

 

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