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Non-opposition letters are available for all who qualify.

We are now telling people that if you are a friend or a family member of a politician, you can not have the same level playing field. You can not have equal opportunities as another resident.

Mayor Jasiel F. Correia ll gave out two more letters of non-opposition,  the first step in applying for a license from the state to open a marijuana dispensary. What is different from the other 11 letters given is this is the brother of his girlfriend.

The ever negative Herald News jumped right on it and has not let up. They are calling City Hall, the Mayor and even former Mayor’s. It is like blood in the water with this paper.

We wanted to get the story right from the people that are involved in this latest letter crisis.  Yesterday I reached out to Mayor Correia for comment on the news and social media talk about the two-letters he signed.  The Mayor was very oped telling me that he was willing to answer any question I asked and had nothing to hide.

First, I ask the mayor when the discussion began with his girlfriend’s brother Peter. He told me that it had been several months ago when the brother asks about opening a dispensary in the city. The mayor said to me that at first, he (Denied) the verbal request because he felt that Perter could not see it through.

The mayor went on to say that the City Council can not cap the number of letters he gives out. What they are trying to do is Cap the amount of license that is given out by the state. People are getting the two mix up. The mayor does not have the power to issue a license, that is the responsibility of the state {Cannabis Control Commission.} They decide who gets a license,  Not me.   It is my responsibility to make sure that the location meets the state, city zoning, and ordinances. Site is important. It can not be next to a school, and we didn’t want them on the main street like South or North Main street or the waterfront.

He further said that the recent letters for Peter Fernandes are not a regular letter like the other 11.  Peter is applying for a unique program that is for minorities and other factors. The mayor stated that Peter must first get approved for the program before he can begin to do what the others do right away after getting a letter. This letter is the only one that is like this. So really, it’s 11 letters for general applications and two letters for the unique program.

Mayor Correia stated that there had been about 25 people that either came in, called or emailed asking about a letter. He said those were people that we’re pretty interested in going forward.  Correia stated others call for necessary information but never follow through. Out of the 25 people that appeared to want to open only 14 total letters were granted. Almost half didn’t follow through. That’s a reason we have to be able to provide more letters out, so when some fall off, we still have a few to go forward. Another essential part of this is the legal discussions. Corporate Council Joe Macy calls the lawyer of every person wanting a letter.  Atty Macy will discuss with the mayor if this is a right candidate for a letter. {It is NOT JUST THE MAYOR PICKING PEOPLE AT RANDOM.}

I met with Peter today. First, let me tell you a little bit about this applicant.  Peter is a  real estate agent and partner in Highland Reality in Fall River. Peter came to the USA when he was 11 months old with his family. His mother worked in a factory and his Dad construction when they first came here. The parents now own Boca Restaurant here in the city and are in the process of opening a three-phase restaurant that will have three different types of food. The building will have three areas, each having its menu.  The first time Peter contacted the mayor about opening a dispensary, it was March 2019. The mayor did not agree that Peter had everything he needed to get through the process. The significant change came when Peter went to Boston training about opening a cannabis business. It was there that he first learned about this new program for minorities. He was then able to line up support and had a plan in place to move forward. Mr. Fernandes stated that he met with Atty Macy, and the attorney asked hard pointed questions. After Macy finished, Atty Macy would meet with the mayor, and Peter learned that he was going to get the two letters.

Mr. Fernandes said he and his partner got another building and decided to try or two dispensaries.  The mayor stated more than once that Pete must be approved for the program before he can even start the rest of the steps. If he gets in, then he can move it along stated Corriea.

From the information we received from both Mayor Correia and Peter Fernandes as well as what we were able to learn about the process, it appears that nothing happened illegally.  It seems to be more about political posturing and a few political rivels of the mayor.

 

 

About Gene St Pierre

Local advocate and political fanatic. My interest are wide and my focus is my community. Retired substance abuse counselor and owner of Studio 1A a social media marketing company. Producer of the no Spin Zone show on Comcast cable channel 95 every Monday at 12 noon. Contact me personally for more information. Hope you enjoy the page and the inside bring to each post blog and column.

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