Suffolk County

Downtown Boston’s first recreational marijuana shop open for business

BOSTON — Boston’s first downtown recreational marijuana shop is now open near TD Garden. This is the fourth retail dispensary to open in the city.

The shop, called Ascend, is in the heart of Boston’s West End, but its prime downtown location is not leaving customers with high parking expectations. Sean Quinlan left his car at home for his visit on Tuesday.

“As far as parking and stuff, as you can tell, it is going to be difficult, but I walked here,” said Quinlan.

Ascend is in the four-story Hilton Tent City store on Friend Street. Ascend’s CEO and former Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral told us they are urging customers to use public transportation.

“We reinforce that message when people come up in the line and people have questions about, when they come back, where can I park, where can I go, and our security people prevent the double parking in the front,” said Cabral.

Joseph Rinaldi lives right next door to the new marijuana retail store.

“We live right next store, and so were just seeing some pretty long lines,” said Rinaldi.

The West End Civic Association told us they met with Cabral during the planning process and worked out an unofficial “handshake” deal that outlines parking, trash and other operations. Cabral told us they will also be using their cameras to make sure people don’t try to pre-game with their products before TD Garden games and events.

“Public consumption is prohibited by law, so it is against the law to both operate a vehicle while impaired or to consume the product in public,” said Cabral.

“I’m sure Ascend will be real strict asking their customers to be respectful,” said Rinaldi

Ascend told us they have no plans now to expand to on-site use after state legislators finalized how marijuana cafe’s would work.