SOMERSET (CBS) — Long lines formed outside some Massachusetts pot shops Monday as recreational marijuana retailers were allowed to reopen for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close in March.
Customers can now order in advance and pick up their purchases curbside. A long line of cars wrapped around the parking lot outside Solar Therapeutics in Somerset Monday morning.
And in Dorchester, dozens of customers stood on the sidewalk outside Pure Bliss, the first pot shop to open in Boston.
“I thought that I could just show up and purchase something,” said Katrina Murchinson of Roxbury, who was unaware that orders needed to be placed online or by phone before picking up.
A determined Murchinson tried to place a phone order, while in line but was unsuccessful. “I’m going to try to see if I can place an order today and see if I can fill it today,” she said.
‘Pure Oasis’ in pure bliss, as dozens of customers line up outside its Dorchester location. Boston’s 1st pot shop was closed for 2mths, after Gov. Baker ordered nonessential businesses to close. Under reopening plan, pot shops are allowed to open, but with restrictions. @Wbz pic.twitter.com/FWWrHFS6sD
— Tashanea@wbz (@TSWHITLOW) May 25, 2020
Whether pot shops should have been able to open or not was a heavily debated topic while the state closed all non-essential businesses.
“So, it’s sort of a sticky situation, because we understand the importance of preserving lives, but we also want to be able to provide our customers with the products that they need,” said Pure Oasis co-owner Kevin Hart.
Baker said allowing pot shops to remain open during the height of the outbreak would attract customers from out of state and cause further spread of the virus.
“Our products are in high demand. People need this,” said Hart.
“A lot of people were going back to the streets to get their self-medication,” said Chelsea resident Ben Crocker.
In Attleboro, the city’s first recreational pot shop opened Monday. Nova Farms was ready to open in April but had to delay the grand opening due to the shutdown.
If COVID-19 key health metrics continue to trend in the right direction, pot shops will be able to service customers inside, but with limited capacity, during Phase 2.