Leicester officials hold emergency meeting 6 days after first legal sales of recreational pot

Officials in Leicester held an emergency meeting six days after the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts brought an influx of traffic into the town.

The Monday night meeting, called for by the town’s administrator, addressed potential traffic, parking, and public safety concerns.

Residents say they’re fed up by the traffic backups Cultivate is bringing to their neighborhood.

“It has been a nightmare. I’m talking hundreds of cars a day, from 8 in the morning until 8 at night. It’s nonstop,” said Mark Castonguay.

He lives one-quarter of a mile away from Cultivate and says it took him 20 minutes to get out of his home because people are blocking his driveway.

“This is just one of those things where I don’t think anybody could’ve figured that traffic would be this intense in a short period of time,” said Leicester Town Administrator David Genereux.

While Leicester town officials believe new recreational pot shops that will soon open will alleviate the traffic that has swarmed the small town, they understand residents’ frustrations and are working to find a solution.

“We do not expect this to be permanent. It will die down over time. But our main goal is to address concerns now because we’re likely going to see this for another couple of weeks,” Genereux said.

Since the beginning sales of recreational pot last Tuesday, crowds of customers have gathered outside Cultivate in Leicester.

Dylan Michaels, of Shrewsbury, says he waited in line for six hours to make his purchase.

“I thought it was going to be an hour, two hours,” he said. “Once you’re already here, just kind of wait it out.”

Cultivate is one of two Bay State locations where people can buy recreational marijuana, which means large crowds will continue to gather in the town.

Store owners said Monday they now have more parking, opening 40 additional spots.