Customers gathered outside the stores before the sun rose on Tuesday, quickly forming hours-long lines. Anticipating the buzz around the first shops, both dispensaries hired detail police officers to be positioned at the shops.
Cultivate is paying $21,010 per week for a Leicester Police detail around its Main Street store.
NETA in Northampton is paying the city police $18,207 for traffic detail around the Conz Street dispensary.
At a heated town meeting Monday night, Leicester Police Chief James Hurley said the owners of Cultivate have “paid the entire bill” for the police presence at the facility.
About 100 people gathered for a meeting with Leicester officials and the owners of Cultivate to discuss the new influx of “cannabis tourists” and recreational buyers.
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Every weekday in Leicester, Cultivate pays $2,255 for three police officers with three cruisers with operating lights to patrol the area. On weekends, that rate increases to $3,245 per day. The dispensary is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
“You’re not paying anything out of pocket for the police here,” Hurley said to a crowd of about 100 people gathered for an emergency meeting Monday after the shop’s first week of recreational sales.
The town collects a 10 percent surcharge off of the detail rate, Hurley said. This means Cultivate pays the town $180 per weekday and $270 per weekend, or $1,440 per week for use of its police force.
Northampton Police Captain John D. Cartledge said the department has three officers at NETA per day, working a traffic detail at a cost of $2,601 per day. The dispensary is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.