A second recreational pot shop could be open in western Massachusetts by the end of the week.
The Cannabis Control Commission tweeted Monday saying they issued notices authorizing INSA in Easthampton to commence retail operations and open in a minimum of three calendar days.
Today @MA_Cannabis issued notices authorizing I.N.S.A., Inc. in Easthampton and Verilife (Pharmacannis Massachusetts, Inc.) in Wareham to commence retail operations and open in a minimum of three calendar days (Friday, 12/21 or later).— MA Cannabis Control Commission (@MA_Cannabis) December 17, 2018
This means the store could open as soon as Friday.
In the last few weeks, INSA has added an express pickup window and marked the floor with signs and stripes to signify the separate lines for recreational and medical marijuana customers; all in preparation for the start of recreational sales.
“I’m kind of excited for opening day because it’s been so much work getting here,” said INSA CEO Mark Zatyrka. “There’s still plenty of work to be done.”
Verilife (Pharmacannis Massachusetts, Inc.) was also issued the same notice and can open on Friday or later.
Zatyrka said they’re hoping to launch retail sales on Saturday, but are still waiting for the CCC to clear the date. They want to avoid traffic difficulties.
“We are going to have signage around town directing people to take an alternate route instead of heading through downtown,” Zatyrka told 22News. “So if they’re coming down the mountain, we don’t want them to go through downtown we want them to take Ferry Street and go down that way. We are going to see some traffic through the center of town, we just want to try to minimize that as much as possible.”
INSA already operates a medical marijuana dispensary at 122 Pleasant Street. That’s where they will sell recreational marijuana to adults 21 and over.
The company is expecting as many as 3,000 people on opening day. They’ve hired police details, their own security team, and have secured additional parking.
There was still a line Monday night at NETA in Northampton, which opened last month. INSA’s opening could help cut wait times.
“I usually do the reserve ahead,” said David Greason of Amherst. “That is awesome during the week Monday Through Thursday. On the weekends, they are slammed no matter what time. I think that with INSA opening up along with other dispensaries opening up that that will help with the lines.”
Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle said police will be directing traffic near I.N.S.A. The neighborhoods have been notified by mail.
I.N.S.A and Verilife will be the fourth and fifth recreational marijuana stores to open in Massachusetts since voters legalized pot in 2016.
NETA opened in Northampton on November 20, making history as the first recreational pot shop to open in western Massachusetts.