At the most recent Fall River City Council session, the seven members in attendance voted six to one, to overturn the Mayor's veto on a proposed ordinance which would have capped the number of recreational marijuana dispensaries to 11. The lone dissenting vote was Councilor Steven Camara. Steve Long was absent, and Council President Cliff Ponte did not participate in the vote due to pending litigation which could place him in the Mayor's office temporarily.
The council and the entire city is awaiting the decisions of the Cannabis Control Commission on if and how many of the original 14 letters of non-opposition and host agreements which were handed out by the Correia Administration will be allowed to proceed.
Council member Shawn Cadime said he would support the override, and would favor the Council having a role in awarding Non-Opposition Letters and Host Agreements in the future, as have selectmen in various suburban communities.
Cadime explained to those gathered how the process is handled in Seekonk and why he shouldn’t have to recuse himself as an administrator of that town.
"The last paragraph, which was really directed towards me, saying that serving as an administrator in another community I should have recused myself - number one, I shouldn't recuse myself, I have no financial gain,” he said.
He continued, “and number two, the town of Seekonk has already issued two licenses and were trying to do exactly what the city of Fall River is doing - limiting it to the twenty percent. So, that statement is inaccurate."
Cadime claims this move is not a disadvantage to the city but the actions of the mayor have been.
"I for one am not disadvantaging the city,” he said. “I did not take any kickbacks. I think that’s a disadvantage to the city. We’re starting to see the commission take hard look at all the host agreements that were issued."
Councillor Leo Pelletier the originator of this proposal to cap cannabis dispensaries still believes 8 was the right way to go.
"The city doesn't need more than eight,” he stated. “What happened in the city of Fall River is that the greed set in and it's a mess. If my colleagues would like to send a letter to the commission and say that we don't honor the other six. Are we obligated to help these guys out and make sure they get a store up? Anybody who gave any money should get nothing at all. I don't care if there in business now or not in business, they should be shut right down."
Councillor Brad Kilby echoed the sentiment of Cadime in that the mayor not the council is the one who has put this city in this predicament.
"His actions, not our actions - his actions have put the spotlight for marijuana companies in Fall River,” he said. “It's not the council."