FALL RIVER — Two public informational hearings have been scheduled for the proposed recreational marijuana business that Mayor Jasiel Correia II, who is dating the owner’s sister, granted local approval to last month.
New Leaf Enterprises was given letters of non-opposition and host community agreements by Correia in July, marking the two required municipal approvals a marijuana retailer must have before seeking licensing approval by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. Correia’s decision drew the ire of several city councilors due to the fact that New Leaf Enterprises’ president, Pedro “Peter” Fernandes, is the brother of Correia’s live-in girlfriend.
Councilor Leo Pelletier described the mayor’s action as “totally inappropriate” and councilor Shawn Cadime descibed it as “corruption at its best.” Correia has defended his decision, saying it would have been a “disadvantage” to Fernandes had he outright denied the man’s application.
Holding community outreach meetings is a mandated part of the CCC’s licensing approval process. The meetings are intended to be a platform for applicants to communicate their business plans to the public and for residents to express thoughts or concerns about how a dispensary might affect their neighborhood.
With over a dozen ongoing proposals for potential Fall River dispensaries under review by the CCC, such outreach meetings have become common in Fall River in recent months. On average, they largely go unattended.
New Leaf Enterprises’ proposed locations are at 360 Second St., the current address of his real estate company, Highland Real Estate, and a former salon and consignment shop at 2629 South Main St. The South Main Street dispensary would be just a few doors down from the Rhode Island border.
According to the public notice issued by New Leaf Enterprises, the meetings will both be held at Fall River Public Library Aug. 20. The South Main Street location will