Fall River pot shop poised to sell recreational marijuana

(WJAR)

Recreational marijuana could soon be sold in Fall River.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is scheduled to make a recommendation on final license approval Thursday for recreational marijuana sales at Northeast Alternatives.

The store, which is less than a mile from the Twin River Tiverton Casino, has been selling medical marijuana for several months.

Founder Chris Harkins said if approved, his store could be the first in Bristol County to sell recreational marijuana.

“We’re proud to be one of the first, and certainly the first in Southern New England, to give that access to our customers,” Harkins told NBC 10 News Tuesday.

According to a report released by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, marijuana sales reached about $2.2 million dollars in the first five days recreational stores were open.

Hawkins said the process of obtaining final license approval can be time consuming and expensive.

“It’s a long road,” Harkins said. “You have to comply with a lot of different things, it’s an expensive process, but that’s what it takes to create a business that’s what it takes to create a business like this, that’s compliant and safe for customers.”

In November, crowds of people packed the streets of Leicester waiting to shop at Cultivate, one of the state’s first marijuana stores.

Harkins said he’s going to encourage customers to use an app to schedule a time to shop at Northeast Alternatives.

“You get your text to come in and you’ll park right here in your lot, next batch comes in 30 minutes later,” Harkins said.

Some residents who live nearby say they still have concerns.

“During rush hour, it’s hard enough to get in and out of here, especially if you’re going to make a left turn. This a main road getting onto Route 24,” said Steven Levesque.

Harkins said he plans to add 20 new employees to his existing staff of 50.

For shoppers, sales taxes will add up too. Consumers will pay up to 20 percent. Of that, Hawkins said the state gets 17 percent and Fall River could get up to a three percent cut.

“We can only hope If any of the money gets used, it gets used for the right things,” Levesque said.

According to the meeting agenda, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. at the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Street in Boston.

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