Easthampton’s INSA Expects to Open This Weekend for Recreational Pot Sales (Hampshire Daily Gazette - December 18, 2018)
EASTHAMPTON — The city’s medical marijuana dispensary will soon be opening its doors to recreational marijuana customers.
On Monday, the Cannabis Control Commission authorized INSA to start selling recreational marijuana as soon as Friday.
“We’re extremely excited to finally open,” INSA CEO Mark Zatyrka said.
Though he said the store doesn’t have an official opening day yet, Zatyrka said he hopes to open on Saturday. He said that after the business got the authorization Monday, the company requested that its opening day be Saturday, and now is waiting for the commission’s approval. Zatyrka anticipates he will hear an answer on Tuesday.
Why not open Friday?
“We thought it would be a little better for the local businesses to be less affected by traffic and parking,” Zatyrka said, “as well as just to ensure that we have adequate inventory in-house and we’re prepared.”
Verilife in Wareham was given the same go-ahead from the Cannabis Control Commission. The two shops will be among the first five to sell recreational marijuana in the state. So far in Massachusetts, dispensaries have opened in Northampton, Leicester and Salem. In the first three weeks of recreational pot sales, revenues topped $7 million.
Located in the Keystone Mill Building at 122 Pleasant St., INSA has been selling medical marijuana since February. The company received its provisional license for retail sales in August, and its final license to sell, grow and process marijuana for recreational purposes in November.
Easthampton officials said in a press release Monday that they have met with INSA multiple times are prepared for the start of recreational sales. Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said in the release she has been working since she arrived in office to plan for recreational marijuana sales in the city.
Traffic around New England Treatment Access in Northampton has been heavy ever since the store’s Nov. 20 opening as a recreational marijuana outlet, and customers have lined up out the door and around the block every day.
The Boston Globe reported that Leicester residents complained about traffic and parking issues when Cultivate opened there last month.
Notices were sent to those living close to INSA and police officers will be directing traffic on several streets near the shop, according to the release. On the city website, patrons can access information about where to park.
Zatyrka said he anticipates lines on opening day. “We hope to also have some food and entertainment for people in line to help people pass the time,” he said. Street performers are a potential form of opening day entertainment, he said.
INSA is prioritizing medical marijuana patients, Zatyrka said, and there will be a separate line both outside and inside the store for the. “There shouldn’t be any wait time at all for them,” he said.