From my house in Arizona, I am writing this letter, but my heart remains in New Bedford exactly where I was born and raised and am nonetheless a tax-paying homeowner. Additionally, my young children and grandchildren nonetheless reside there.
There are myriad concerns I adhere to by means of the media and good friends that effect our neighborhood and lately, 1 of these that specifically issues me has resurfaced as component of the public discourse. Cannabis/Marijuana Dispensaries.
In 2013, my husband, Dr. Joseph Souza, my son, TJ Thomas, and I became the subjects of considerable public scrutiny when we formed the non-profit, Center for Option Medicine (CALM) and publicly announced our intention to apply for a license to open a health-related marijuana dispensary in New Bedford. The following year, TJ was recognized as 1 of the South Coast’s Emerging Leaders for his experienced endeavors in that location.
Due to the fact CALM was the quite very first non-profit in the location to go public with our intentions, and simply because the notion of legalizing health-related marijuana was so new and reasonably mysterious and suspect, we had to invest an inordinate quantity of time, power, and individual sources to educate the neighborhood on the concerns involved.
I am proud to say that CALM was the quite very first prospective applicant statewide to
1. Defeat a proposed moratorium on dispensaries (by unanimous City Council vote) That moratorium was proposed by none other than Mayor Jon Mitchell.
two. Acquire complete approval from a City Council to move forward with our application.
That did not happen by accident. It took time and patience. We spoke with all of the city councilors individually, attended standard city council meetings and subcommittee meetings, candidly answering their thoughtful concerns and addressing their issues, each in individual and in writing.
We met with several neighborhood organizations in all components of the city and patiently responded to their voiced issues, and at some point, we earned their trust and help.
We met with Representative Tony Cabral and addressed his issues and lastly, we sat down with the board members of the New Bedford Typical Instances (SouthCoast These days) exactly where we have been grilled at length on all elements of our objectives, intentions, and proposed small business plans to advantage the neighborhood. We have been honored to acquire the endorsement of that editorial board.
Throughout these several lengthy months, the only factor we have been ever asked to commit to by any of these people or organizations was relating to our intentions…