FALL RIVER — The Fall River city government will be extending its moratorium on accepting new applications for retail marijuana establishments.

Mayor Paul Coogan's office announced the move Friday, noting in a release that more time is needed to enact a comprehensive cannabis zoning ordinance.

The rule is intended to mitigate any neighborhood impacts of the marijuana stores and protect public health and safety, according to the office.

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New applications will be accepted once the cannabis zoning ordinance is enacted, the mayor's office stated.

The moratorium on marijuana retail applications was first enacted in September 2019 following charges against then-mayor Jasiel Correia for bribery and corruption, in part due to allegations he received bribes for accepting marijuana retail applications.

He has since been convicted and sentenced to six years in prison, although he has yet to begin serving time.

Fall River has thus far entered into 13 host community agreements allowing marijuana cultivation, manufacture, or sale at 15 different city spots.

Only three of these establishments — Northeast Alternatives, Sunnyside, and Nature’s Medicine — are currently open for business.

Another three cannabis stores are expected to open in the near future, according to the mayor's office, with more on the way after they receive state approval from the Cannabis Control Commission.

Fall River currently has no cannabis zoning rules in place.

It is unclear when the cannabis zoning ordinance will be enacted.

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