What do folks think of the “Pot Shops” Coming to Their Neighborhoods?
By Stephanie Wittenbach, Somerville Neighborhood News
SOMERVILLE, Mass., Oct. 28, 2019 – As city officials prepare to consider and possibly approve three recreational marijuana outlets for Somerville, neighbors and passersby across the city recently chimed in with their views.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Josh Myers on Highland Avenue, where New England Select Harvest hopes to set up shop. “I don’t partake myself, but it’s legal if people want to do that.”
But near 71 Union Square, where Union Leaf plans to open its doors, some were more skeptical.
Alexander Rich-Shea, who said he likes marijuana, is nervous about those who drive under the influence.
“I think everyone is driving high these days and I don’t think there is any way to really detect it,” he noted. Still, he noted, he’s happy Union Leaf might be opening up.
At Highland Avenue and Central Street, where East Coast Remedies plans to have its dispensary, longtime Somerville resident Ron Butts was intrigued with the idea of potentially having three shops in the city.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “I’m all for it, so I look forward to seeing a few open up… at my age even at my 70s I think I might take a shot and buy some.”
But some noted that the locations of the planned outlets is not ideal. The Central Street location is just a few blocks from the high school, for example.
Cassie Butler said she was “not happy about it.”
“Sorry, I just feel like it’s too close to schools and to close to younger children and I just feel like there’s going to be too much influence,” she said while passing through Union Square.
At the October 21 Licensing Commission hearing, officials decided to postpone their votes until another hearing in an effort to involve more residents in the deliberation process. The next hearing is scheduled for November 18.
At the November meeting, members of the public can learn more about companies proposing to open establishments in Somerville.
For more information on the businesses and the process, go to the City’s webpage – Adult-Use Marijuana Establishments.