Hope Heal Health on Weaver Street in Fall River officially began selling recreational cannabis on Friday.
In a weekly conversation with WSAR, Mayor Paul Coogan who speaks with WSAR every Friday at 12:30 talked about the city opening up its second recreational cannabis dispensary.
The major issue that is hoped to be solved is traffic. Northeast Alternatives has been the only dispensary in Fall River thus far selling cannabis recreationally which means it is a monopoly in Fall River.
There is a weekly congestion of vehicles and complaints of noise at the location which resides near the border of Tiverton. Hopefully, now that there are more places to buy product, business will be divvied up and those concerns will be solved naturally.
The Fall River Mayor took a tour of the facility on its day of grand opening.
"It's a beautiful facility,” he said. “They put a ton of money into the building. They hired a ton of people from Fall River. They have somewhere between 125 and 130 employees right now. When the build-out is done on floors 3 and 4 they expect to have up to 225 employees."
If you’re thinking parking might be an issue with the type of demand this product holds, think again. The company’s CEO John Rogue has figured that out, says Coogan.
"There is a substantial amount of parking,” he said. “He has somewhere around 250 parking spots including some he rented. For the mere fact that some people may not want to go up there with the type of parking at Northeast and all of the traffic.”
“Weaver Street is a bit quieter and people can get in and out a little quicker,” Coogan said. “There will be a natural market force that will alleviate the pressure at Northeast. Everyone's hope in the city is to spread out that traffic a bit."
Currently, 14 prospective cannabis dispensaries have attained host agreements and non-opposition letters in Fall River with others waiting to get in front of the Cannabis COntrol Commission. But that doesn’t mean all will come to fruition.
"I don't see Fall River supporting a number like 14,” the Fall River Mayor said. “I know Taunton gave out 18. If I was drawing out the rollout, I'd like to see us go to 3 then 4 then 5 and sit around there a little while to look at what traffic looks like and how business is doing. We can determine the upsides and downsides and then go forward from there."
Boston was approved for their first recreational dispensary earlier in the month and expect its opening in a few weeks.