Pot shop openings gaining steam

Boston areas gets first store -- in Brookline

MORE THAN TWO YEARS after voters decided to legalize non-medical cannabis, Massachusetts granted New England Treatment Access in Brookline a recreational marijuana license on Thursday. The business will be the first recreational pot shop that will be open to buyers in the Greater Boston area, and police are expecting mayhem when the store opens up in a few weeks.

Despite the pending sale of NETA to Georgia-owned Surterra Wellness, NETA was able to acquire the license after some back and forth between the commission’s chairman, Steven Hoffman, and Commissioner Shaleen Title, who abstained on the vote. One of the first adult-use cannabis sales in the Commonwealth was made to Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz just four months ago at the NETA business that opened there.

Massachusetts already has 10 shops open to recreational consumers, with the newest, Sanctuary, opening up in Gardner on Wednesday. The business had already opened up as a medical cannabis dispensary in November.

Caroline’s Cannabis, owned by Caroline Frankel, is about to open in Uxbridge. Frankel appeared on a Codcast called “Women of pot” back in October.

Silver Therapeutics in Williamstown also got the OK by the Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday, making it the first North Berkshire retailer scheduled to open. Chief financial officer Brendan McKee told the Berkshire Eagle that Silver Therapeutics is likely to open within the next 30 days. “Everyone is excited,” McKee said. “They want us to be open.”

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Sarah Betancourt

Reporter, CommonWealth magazine

About Sarah Betancourt

Sarah Betancourt is a bilingual journalist reporting across New England. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Sarah was a reporter for The Associated Press in Boston, and a correspondent with The Boston Globe and The Guardian. She has written about immigration, social justice, and health policy for outlets like NBC, The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, and the New York Law Journal. Sarah has reported stories such as a national look at teacher shortages, how databases are used by police departments to procure information on immigrants, and uncovered the spread of an infectious disease in children at a family detention center. She has covered the State House, local and national politics, crime and general assignment.

Sarah received a 2018 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for her role in the ProPublica/NPR story, “They Got Hurt at Work and Then They Got Deported,” which explored how Florida employers and insurance companies were getting out of paying workers compensation benefits by using a state law to ensure injured undocumented workers were arrested or deported. Sarah attended Emerson College for a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Communication, and Columbia University for a fellowship and Master’s degree with the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

About Sarah Betancourt

Sarah Betancourt is a bilingual journalist reporting across New England. Prior to joining Commonwealth, Sarah was a reporter for The Associated Press in Boston, and a correspondent with The Boston Globe and The Guardian. She has written about immigration, social justice, and health policy for outlets like NBC, The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, and the New York Law Journal. Sarah has reported stories such as a national look at teacher shortages, how databases are used by police departments to procure information on immigrants, and uncovered the spread of an infectious disease in children at a family detention center. She has covered the State House, local and national politics, crime and general assignment.

Sarah received a 2018 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for her role in the ProPublica/NPR story, “They Got Hurt at Work and Then They Got Deported,” which explored how Florida employers and insurance companies were getting out of paying workers compensation benefits by using a state law to ensure injured undocumented workers were arrested or deported. Sarah attended Emerson College for a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Communication, and Columbia University for a fellowship and Master’s degree with the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

Brockton-based In Good Health, which sells medical marijuana, is seeking to open a recreational store in the city, but in the meantime is selling its line of products to the 10 recreational stores that are already open out of its 56,000-square-foot grow facility.

State law allows retail shops to sell no more than an ounce of flower or 20 servings of edibles to each customer.