FALL RIVER — A group of city residents with concerns on the placement of a proposed Lewiston Street dispensary formed a small but organized opposition against plans of marijuana retailer Agricultural Healing during the company’s outreach hearing.
As a requirement of the state’s licensing process, the company held a community forum to discuss dispensary plans Tuesday. With more than 10 companies vying for different marijuana licenses in Fall River, such meetings have become regular occurrences for the city.
Tuesday, however, marked something of a departure from recent meetings, which normally attract a handful of city residents. Agricultural Healing’s forum brought in a crowd of roughly 20 city residents. While not all of them were there in protest, several attended to oppose the dispensary’s plans.
Criticisms were largely built around concerns of how the dispensary, which is seeking to cultivate and sell medical and recreational marijuana, will have an impact on traffic congestion in the surrounding neighborhood.
“I don’t want to have to park my car on Rodman Street and walk home because I can’t park in front of my building,” said Ana Buccieri, who said she lives near the proposed dispensary.
Michael Street resident Carlos DeSouza, who was one of several neighborhood residents who attended the meeting wearing large stickers featuring the word “No” on them, also raised parking issues. He said children live across the street, expressed concern that customers parking on the street could make it difficult for students who ride the bus to school.
In response to these claims, Phil Silverman, an attorney representing the dispensary, said Agricultural Healing is aware of the neighborhood’s concerns and assured residents that his client does not anticipate the opening would draw crowds similar to the mobs that flocked to the state’s first dispensaries to open last year.
“I know everyone saw