EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

March 2, 2014

Public gets say in pot center locale

City sets March 20 hearing on site of medical marijuana dispensary

(Continued)

Prior to Hale Street, a committee formed by Mayor James Fiorentini considered the Ward Hill Business Park in Bradford as the best location for a medical marijuana dispensary. But city officials changed the proposed location from Ward Hill to Hale Street just prior to a November council meeting to consider the zoning.

The change happened right after a group of Ward Hill residents presented a petition to the council against the location signed by more than 100 people, and revelations that another nonprofit group was eyeing a prominent industrial building in the park for a dispensary. City officials said they wanted to see the building used by a more traditional manufacturing company.

Fiorentini said members of his Marijuana Study Commission have recently voiced new concerns about the Hale Street location. The mayor said he was unsure if the members still supported that location and that he intended to poll them this week. The zoning committee includes police Chief Alan DeNaro and Economic Development Director William Pillsbury among others.

“I have spoken informally with members of the committee who have expressed concerns with the number of people who might use a dispensary and whether Hale Street would be the best place for that amount of traffic,” Fiorentini said. “I know that councilors too have concerns about that proposed zone. I hope that we can work with the council to come up with an appropriate location that can handle the traffic that is expected should a facility locate here.”

Healthy Pharms estimates:

2,624 patients to use the dispensary in the first year, for a total of 62,494 visits

4,755 patients by the third year, or 184,012 total visits

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