Leicester preparing for one of state's first recreational cannabis retailers

LEICESTER, Mass. — It's been nearly two years since Massachusetts voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana. Now, Leicester residents are preparing for a historic day when one of the first commercial pot shops opens in just a few weeks.

Since Cultivate on Main Street in Leicester opened last December, a medical marijuana card was required to enter.

Now, that's about to change, as the dispensary will be able to offer its wide selection of products like Blue Dream, Purple Punch and THC-infused peanut butter cookies to anyone 21 and older.

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"I think it's been great it's been legalized," Spencer resident Kris Rondeau said. "It's a good thing, it's going to bring money."

Cultivate, located about an hour west of Boston and 20 minutes from Worcester, is one of only two marijuana facilities in Massachusetts to get final approval to sell to recreational users.

"The issue that we're faced with is, we just don't know how many people will show up when Cultivate opens for recreational sales," Leicester Police Chief James Hurley said.

Hurley said he's been working with the Cannabis Control Commission and the owner of Cultivate to make sure things go smoothly.

He said there's no way for him to tell if Leicester will see hundreds of new visitors, or thousands.

"Anytime I have gone through an issue where something new or novel opens up in town, I always call another chief who’s gone through it," Hurley said. "But, no one has gone through this in Massachusetts yet."

Christine Anderson works at Wayside Floral in Leicester, and said her customers want to know to know why it didn't happen sooner.

"There hasn’t been a lot of talk, not in my store anyway, about it, except for the fact that, 'Gee, I heard it was legal two years ago,'" Anderson said. "But you don’t hear of anything happening."

A medical marijuana facility in Northampton has also been given final approval to sell pot for recreational use, and customers will need to bring an ID to prove they are 21.

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