INSA, Easthampton organizing parking, customer safety ahead of opening day

Hampshire County

It’s going to be deja vu in Hampshire County next month as Easthampton is gearing up for the start of recreational marijuana sales at INSA.

Thousands of cannabis customers descended on Northampton and Leicester in the first week of recreational marijuana sales, bringing in $2 million.

Easthampton City Planner Jeffrey Bagg told 22News that as part of INSA’s permitting process, they created an opening day plan that included the mayor’s office, the police, and the DPW. He said INSA will be covering the cost of extra traffic details on opening day.

New City Brewery, located close to INSA, said they should have enough space to make for a smooth opening day.

“The town two years ago completed this awesome parking project back here so unless it’s absolutely crazy, the parking should be much easier,” said Sam Dibble, co-founder of New City Brewery. “This new thing for people to check out, I guess they’re getting a lot of people from out of town and that sort of thing. We’re all about that. That’s great for the town.”

City officials plan to meet with INSA next week, to assign traffic details and discuss potential road closures. Bagg said the plan covers the first six months of recreational sales, but as more dispensaries open, they’re expecting the crowds to thin out.

One convenience store across from INSA said they have concerns about parking, but they’re also hoping for new customers.

“There’s actually an event place across the street on top of INSA,” said Michael Muscaro at Gerry’s Variety. “We’ve already had some issues with parking, and it’s probably only going to get worse, to be honest. We’re going to bring in some new products to kind of cater to that audience.”

Bagg said INSA also plans to hire additional security staff to patrol the building and monitor the lines on opening day.

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