FALL RIVER — After roughly four years of planning, a Hartwell Street marijuana dispensary that nearly completed construction in 2018 is poised to begin recreational sales this year.
Since becoming the first Fall River marijuana business to receive a letter of non-opposition from the city – which any dispensary needs to have before applying for a license with the state – Health For Life has gone through a series of fits and starts. However, during a state-mandated public outreach meeting Tuesday, representatives of the company’s owner said an opening date is on the horizon.
“It’s in the plan to be doing sales within the year,” said Caleb Johnson, the dispensary’s director of operations. “I’m sure we’d love to say we’ll have plants in the ground by April.”
Spearheaded by a local company called CannaTech, the facility has since been purchased by New York-based iAnthus Capital Holdings. In addition to operating the Hartwell Street dispensary, iAnthus is also working to open a facility that would cultivate and process cannabis on Innovation Way.
When asked why it had taken roughly four years for the dispensary to get this far in the process to begin marijuana sales, Phil Silverman, an attorney representing the company, cited a mixture of the state’s slow approval process, caution in seeing how the local cannabis market would fare and ownership changes.
By the end of 2018, CannaTech’s two local founders announced they had sold their stake in the company to Canada-based MPX Bioceuticals, which sold the company again in 2019. Last November, iAnthus Capital Holdings acquired the facility.
“It’s been a slow, long haul,” said Silverman. “I can’t speak to the prior operator other than to say when these gentlemen came in, they went up and at it and they are really ready.”
Though much of the project’s construction was