BROOKLINE (CBS) – “We are the first in the greater Boston area,” said Amanda Rositano, Director of Operational Compliance at Brookline’s new recreational pot shop. New England Treatment Access, or NETA, is opening its doors to recreational marijuana customers Saturday morning.

The store is housed in the former Brookline Savings Bank on the corner of Washington and Boylston streets. It’s the same company that opened a store about 100 miles away in Northampton four months ago. Thousands waited for hours to get in. The chairman of Brookline’s Select Board, Neil Wishinsky, says he can’t envision a crowd like that in his urban neighborhood. He will be the first recreational cannabis customer there.

NETA is paying for 15 Brookline police officers to work details at the store this weekend. “With the police moving people along and making sure the parking rules are enforced, we’re hopeful things go well,” said Wishinsky.

DReally Smith, who lives in Brookline, had marijuana leaves painted on his toenails to celebrate the occasion. Even he says the location is tough for crowds of customers. “I think it’s going to be a lot of congestion.”

At Boston Rug Company up the street, owner Bahman Kimyachi hopes it won’t hurt his business. “There isn’t much parking here to begin with. With this crowd coming here, I’m sure it’ll be even worse.”

There’s also daycare center next door to NETA, but the store’s managers hope that by opening on the weekend, they can move the biggest crowds through the store before Monday.

“Being the first dispensary accessible to public transportation, we think that’s the best option,” said Rositano. Unfortunately, the MBTA is doing some scheduled maintenance on the Green Line’s D trains which run nearby, but the T will have shuttle buses running.

The store’s parking lot will be closed to vehicles to make room for customers to line up. There will be an express line for people who order ahead online and no line for medical patients.

Christina Hager

Comments