Pubdate: Wed, 03 Aug 2016
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2016 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.
Author: Dan Atkinson


'Rush' Not Expected at City's First Facility

Today's opening of the city's first pot shop in Downtown Crossing 
could be a mellow affair, with the owners predicting the dispensary 
will draw a few dozen customers with medical marijuana cards per day 
in its initial weeks, before slowly increasing to 90 to 100 daily customers.

"We don't expect a rush the way you think about for recreational 
facilities," said Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita, whose nationwide 
company oversees the Massachusetts facility Patriot Care, at 21 Milk St.

The company first applied for a Boston location in 2013 - facing 
opposition from residents and several city councilors. Mayor Martin 
J. Walsh, who had questioned other dispensary applicants and has come 
out strongly against a ballot question to legalize recreational 
marijuana in Massachusetts, said yesterday he was comfortable with 
Patriot Care's facility.

"They worked really hard with the community, there were a lot of 
changes made," Walsh said. "That's how the process should work; it 
worked out well."

Police Commissioner William B. Evans also said he was pleased with 
Patriot Care's setup and said the company had been working closely with police.

"I don't have any problems with medical marijuana as long as it's 
used for the right reasons," Evans said.

The facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through 
Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, and Boston police officers 
will be on detail outside the building daily, according to head of 
security George Agganis. A security guard will screen people after 
they enter the building's lobby before they enter Patriot Care's 
lobby, where they must display their state ID for buying marijuana 
and another photo ID before entering a separate waiting room.

The dispensary can hold 10 customers, as well as 10 sales associates, 
Vita said. Patriot Care will sell smokable marijuana as well as 
edibles and concentrates, and also will deliver.

As for the next pot shop, Mayflower Medicinals and Compassionate 
Organics are jockeying for space in Allston, with Mayflower recently 
receiving zoning board approval, while Happy Valley Ventures is 
looking to open a facility in East Boston.

There are 27,000 Bay State residents with medical pot cards.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom