BOSTON — Fall River’s three state representatives co-authored a letter to the state Cannabis Control Commission Tuesday asking the agency to delay pending applications for cannabis businesses in the city and place a moratorium on retail licenses following Mayor Jasiel Correia’s indictment.
Correia, arrested Friday for allegedly extorting nearly $600,000 from four local marijuana vendors, is the sole Fall River official able to issue letters of non-opposition and host community agreements to would-be cannabis businesses hoping to open in Fall River. Under state law, marijuana businesses are required to have contracts signed with host towns or cities before they can request sales licenses from the commission.
“The associated charges brought forth by the United States District Attorney in an eleven-count indictment indicate that the process of securing such licenses and host agreements may have been undermined,” Rep. Carole Fiola, Rep. Paul Schmid and Rep. Alan Silvia wrote in their co-authored letter. “The alleged actions of the Mayor in the issuance of the letters of non-opposition of community host agreements appear to have been compromised.”
In total, Correia signed the two documents for 14 planned dispensaries and other cannabis-related facilities in Fall River. Thus far, only one, Northeast Alternatives on William S. Canning Boulevard near the Rhode Island line, has cleared all hurdles to open for recreational sales. Thirteen applications are pending in various other stages. At least one other business, Regeneration LLC, is waiting for Correia’s approval.
Fiola, Schmid and Silvia have requested the CCC suspend acceptance of the pending applications.
“We respectfully request that the approval of any pending retail or medical marijuana application in the City of Fall River be temporarily delayed and a moratorium on the issuance of such licenses be enacted until such time that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has an opportunity to fully digest, investigate and make a determination as to what impact the alleged actions identified within the indictment had on the issuance of letters of non-opposition and community host agreement negotiations,” the legislators wrote.
Though it remains to be seen what actions the CCC may take, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed on the day of the mayor’s arrest that commissioners were reviewing Correia’s most recent indictment.
The representatives’ letter also alludes to there…