HAVERHILL, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The owner of a Haverhill pot shop is suing the city over the impact fees levied against the store.
Impact fees are a fee a community can put on marijuana shops to compensate the town or city for a certain burden the shop causes, like causing extra traffic or large amounts of wastewater.
Caroline Pineau is the owner of Stem, a cannabis shop in Haverhill's downtown. Pineau said she is fine paying the city's fees, but that by state law, she has a right to know what the money is going towards.
Pineau said she asked for an explanation when she signed a contract with the city in 2018, but has not received it. Now, she is suing Haverhill to provide a reasoning behind the fees.
"We have never said that we will not pay the fee, we are simply asking that the city act in compliance with the law," she said.
The fees cost Pineau hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Haverhill responded to the lawsuit in a statement, saying the city would vigorously defend the suit and that the use of the money is within the city's sole discretion.
The fees are part of the state's rules about recreational marijuana sales, and fall under a broad category of agreements between communities and the communities they operate in, called "Host-Community Agreements."
WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) has more: