“My police chief has very few reports of any incidents,” said David Genereux, the Leicester Town Administrator, when asked about the impact of Cultivate, the local cannabis dispensary. “There’s been no real complaints after the first week or two of operation.”
Cultivate was one of the first dispensaries to roll out recreational sales late last year. New England Treatment Access (NETA) was the other. Both establishments opened to the public on November 20th.
The following month Alternative Therapies Group in Salem, Verilife in Wareham and Insa in Easthampton began selling recreational marijuana to adults.
Through a public records request, 25 Investigates obtained police service calls and complaints in those five communities to see if there has been an uptick in serious crime or violence around those facilities since recreational sales began.
We collected and analyzed over two months of police reports, starting with the first day of recreational sales, and compared it to police reports for the same period a year earlier.
In Northampton and Easthampton, service calls to the business location and neighboring addresses went down after recreational sales went into effect.
Salem and Wareham each had one complaint related to the recreational marijuana dispensary.
Leicester saw a slight increase in service calls compared to the year before.
“We haven’t seen any uptick in criminal activity or anything having to do with that,” added Genereux. “We have a local big box retailer that keeps us a lot more busy than Cultivate ever would.”