How many legal cannabis shops is too much in Fall River?

How many cannabis dispensaries are too many for the city of Fall River?


City Council member Leo Pelletier said at a recent session of the council, “I just feel eight is enough.”


This came following a submitted resolution from Pelletier seeking to cap off the number of legal cannabis dispensaries in Fall River to the number '8.' Mayor Jasiel Correia II and his administration has already agreed to 11 letters of non-opposition. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has only awarded a handful of licenses, however, in the state. 


“It doesn’t have to go through the voters, it can go through ordinances. I just think eight is enough,” Pelletier explained. The resolution was approved by an 8-1 margin at that same recent city council session and will move on to a future ordinance and legislation committee later on this Spring.


The lone no vote from the city council came from member Steve Camara, “This is a legal business. We all promote and say we support capitalism.”


He had a word of advice for those in favor of the resolution, “My advice is that we allow the market to decide. We enjoy the free market doing what it can to create jobs and allow people's choices to be made by that free market.”


The Fall River Herald News reported the first contributions from a 3% host fee of various cannabis dispensaries are beginning to arrive, just in time for the fiscal year 2020 budget. The sixth floor is hoping to pay for various line items in future municipal budgets from legal cannabis revenue as well as digital billboards and indoor advertising in government center.


Northeast Alternatives reported $3 million in sales with Fall River getting nearly $88,000 of it on top of $75,000 already paid in fees. The second licensed dispensary, Hope Heal Health has also paid its fees while four other establishments await the green light from the Commonwealth’s Cannabis Control Commision.


“I see no reason for this,” Council Member Camara said. “It’s not as if we’re voting on an industry that has a history of being destructive or detrimental to peace and tranquility. In fact, some may argue the opposite, that it’s an industry that promotes those things. I don’t see a need for this resolution.”