Grow, Gift, Repair

Fitchburg sees green in going to pot

The recreation pot capital of Massachusetts?

For the city of Fitchburg, that’s more than a pipe dream.

Already home to a pair of recreational marijuana retailers, Fitchburg recently welcomed the third such venue with the opening Saturday of a dispensary and cultivation center operated by the Philadelphia-based retailer and cultivator Ethos Cannabis.

The company recently received approval from the Cannabis Control Commission to open for business.

Located at 20 Authority Drive, the dispensary will operate seven days a week, from 10 a. m. to 8 p. m.

Alex Hardy, president of the Massachusetts branch, told the newspaper Ethos Cannabis’ attached cultivation facility will also supply marijuana to the company’s medical dispensary in Watertown and other retail stores in the state.

The opening of this new pot retailer comes just months after the rollout of the city’s first two marijuana outlets: Atlantic Medicinal Partners on Crawford Street and Local Roots Cannabis on Lunenburg Street.

With a population of approximately 40,000, Fitchburg, about one-third the size of Lowell, now has three times that city’s number of pot shops.

However, Fitchburg city officials realize old mill cities need all the revenue streams they can attract, and recreational marijuana shops do help broaden the tax base.

Officials have also praised these operators for repurposing former factory buildings, along with bringing that new revenue into the city treasury.

Strategically located in the North Central part of the state, Fitchburg unquestionably has carved out a niche as the region’s hub for retail marijuana.