What to Know
- Alternative Therapies Group in Salem, Massachusetts, will be allowed to sell recreational marijuana as soon as Saturday.
- Recreational marijuana customers will be required to make an appointment online for the time being, according to officials.
- The Salem dispensary becomes the Bay State's third recreational marijuana shop.
Police in Salem, Massachusetts, are gearing up for sales of recreational marijuana starting at a local dispensary after state regulators issued its final notice allowing non-medical marijuana sales to take place on Tuesday.
Alternative Therapies Group, Inc. (ATG) in Salem will open its doors for retail operations starting Saturday, but company officials and city leaders are working together to stem the green rush.
Recreational sales will take place by appointment only, and the shop will not take recreational sale walk-ins. Those who wish to go to the shop will have to go online to make an appointment and then show up on time. Security personnel on site will check customers' reservations in addition to their IDs.
Salem police officers will also be present to address issues relating with crowds or traffic, and they'll be assisted by Peabody and MBTA Transit police as well, authorities said.
However, these measures are only in place until the hype has died down, according to company and city officials.
Hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., and parking is available in designated areas along the south side of Harmony Grove Road. Overflow parking is available at a public parking lot at 297 Bridge St.
Customers are urged to take public transportation to the store, and there will be a free shuttle service at the train state and the Bridge Street public parking lot bringing those with confirmed appointments to and from ATG, according to officials.
The Grove Street shop will become the third retailer to open its doors, following the lead of Cultivate in Leicester and New England Treatment Access in Northampton just before Thanksgiving.
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ATG has been in operation since 2015 as the state's first medical marijuana dispensary.
Founder Christopher Edwards said ATG has been preparing for recreational sales this year by scaling up production and hiring more staff.
Massachusetts approved of allowing recreational marijuana sales back in 2016.
Tax revenue projections from recreational marijuana sales could top out at $80 million this year alone, according to the state's Department of Revenue. However, locals have complained about traffic congestion caused by crowds eager to legally purchase marijuana.