November 19, 2018

Cultivate prepared for thousands of customers as Mass. recreational pot sales begin Tuesday

Photo | Zachary Comeau
Sam Barber, president of Cultivate, speaks along with Leicester Police Chief Jim Hurley on preparations for Tuesday's opening.

It's going to be all hands on deck in Leicester as marijuana dispensary Cultivate will open at 8 a.m. in anticipation of thousands of customers waiting for this moment for more than two years.

"We've done everything we can to be prepared for thousands," President Sam Barber said at a Monday morning press conference in the dispensary.

Cultivate and the Northampton dispensary of New England Treatment Access will both open for recreational sales Tuesday, becoming the first two east of the Mississippi River to jump into the recreational cannabis market.

Barber and Leicester Police Chief Jim Hurley outlined a detailed plan for crowd control and parking including limiting the number of customers inside the building. Recreational customers will need to park at Everlast Nursery, which is about half a mile from Cultivate. A shuttle bus will bring customers to and from the retail location.

Medical patients will be able to park at the dispensary as normal.

Photo | Zachary Comeau
Marijuana will be available for recreational customers at Cultivate on Tuesday.

Hurley reminded customers to not consume products until they get home, as public consumption is still illegal.

The road in front of Cultivate will be reduced to one-way traffic, while Route 9 traffic is expected to flow as normal, Hurley said.

Cultivate has been preparing for tomorrow for some time, including ramping up production and creating 35 new jobs to ensure the smooth rollout of the company's adult-use program.

Demand will be immense, but Barber said the company is confident it will have enough product to last through at least Tuesday. Customers will be able to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana or five grams of concentrate, the most allowed under state laws regulating the sale of cannabis.

"We've been preparing for a while to meet this demand," he said, adding he can't make any guarantees on how long the company's supply lasts after Tuesday.

The state Cannabis Control Commission informed Cultivate and NETA Friday they could begin sales in three calendar days. Cultivate is opening at 8 a.m. -- two hours earlier than usual -- to meet customer demand.

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