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Grow, Gift, Repair

Third dispensary coming to Salem part 2

Alternative Therapies Group can begin selling recreational marijuana in Salem on Saturday.
But there’s a catch: Customers must schedule an appointment to get in the door at the business’ website, atgma.org.

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission announced Tuesday afternoon that it has given ATG its final “certificate of commencement,” triggering a three-day countdown for pot sales launching in Salem. The certificate came hours after several city officials and leaders met at the police station to finalize and approve extensive plans for how sales will go forward.

The decision makes ATG, at 50 Grove St., the third recreational marijuana shop to open in the state. Shops in Leicester and Northampton opened Nov. 20 to unprecedented crowds.
When the retailer opens its doors to customers on Saturday at 9 a.m., it will be only to those who have appointments, according to Chris Edwards, executive director of ATG.

“The thought process is that it’s a more densely populated, urban area than the places out west,” Edwards said. “We’re trying to put a governor on that.”

Officials are pushing for customers to take the commuter rail into the city, according to Salem police Capt. Conrad Prosniewski. Free shuttles will be constantly running during business hours at both the MBTA garage on Bridge Street and the Universal Steel parking lot, but only for those who confirm they have an appointment booked at ATG.

Additionally, about 70 parking spaces will be available for customers who drive to ATG anyway, as well as about 100 along Harmony Grove Road, according to Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.

Beyond that, parking restrictions will be in place and heavily enforced for roads around ATG, as approved by the City Council on Thursday, according to Driscoll.

“We’ve already sent out parking passes to residents neighboring the site,” Driscoll said. “We think even with the reservation systems, there will be long delays in trains and traffic.”