Salem Approves First Retail Marijuana Shop
SALEM, MA — In an expected move, the Zoning Board of Appeals of appeals approved Wednesday a special permit that will allow Alternative Therapies Group to sell marijuana to recreational uses under recently-passed city rules. ATG, which has run a medical marijuana dispensary in Salem for three years, still needs to wiat for the state to finalize its regulations for recreational marijuana sales.
Alternative Therapies was grandfathered in to an automatic recreational license because they have been operating the medical marijuana dispensary since before last year. Under the city rules, the facility gets an automatic license as long as it meets all of the qualifications outline in the Salem ordinance.
Depending on how the state sets its rules and interprets Salem’s regulations, the city will grant three or four additional licenses to businesses that want to sell marijuana to recreational users. There are currently three applications awaiting review before the zoning board of appeals, which has final say on the special permit applications for retail marijuana sales.
Salem City Council approved recreational marijuana sales last month. Under the new rules, which go into effect later this year, the city will issue licenses in the Downtown business district or in areas zone B2, or “business highway,” under city bylaws.
Salem has been pushing to adopt its own rules before the state adopts rules regulating recreational marijuana sales. Those state regulations are expected in late spring or early summer. Local laws approved earlier this month would only allow for the sale of marijuana; businesses would not be licensed to allow on-site consumption of purchases by customers.
More than 60% of Salem voters supported the 2016 ballot question that legalized recreational marijuana sales. Statewide, the measure passed by a margin of 1,745,394 to 1,511,747. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a “compromise