State’s third recreational pot shop opens in Salem

Recreational marijuana is now for sale in Salem, Massachusetts and the new shop, Alternative Therapies, is attracting people from across the state.

“It’s a great day,” said Ben Amirault, who was among the first customers through the door. “We waited two years, so it’s great to finally be able to purchase cannabis legally in Massachusetts.”

Saturday’s first customer was Salem City Councillor Josh Turiel. He says the city is ready for the new business and the new visitors it will bring.

“Come spend some money in our stores,” Turiel says. “We have one hotel that’s doing specials overnight for people who want to come and stay.”

Police will be on hand to help manage crowds and traffic and there will be shuttles to help people get around.

Salem Police Capt. Conrad Prosniewski said the department was prepared for the crowds.

“After what happened in the other communities for the opening, we took it seriously,” he said, “we’re learning from what’s happened over in Leicester and Northampton.”

Alternative Therapies Group is the third store in the state to sell recreational marijuana and it’s using an appointment-only system.

“Just found out this was opening on Tuesday, made my appointment online and I’m the first one here,” customer Christopher Holland said. “The way this is operating is pretty smooth and awesome.”

He says he’s happy with how things went on opening day.

“It was very straightforward,” he said. “Like going to any other store, everything’s right there. Very fast, friendly service.”

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