AP NEWS

City Poised for First Pot Shop to Open in Lowell

February 24, 2019

LOWELL -- The city’s first recreational marijuana dispensary is expected to open its doors next month.

That’s what Lowell officials are anticipating, according to a memo about Patriot Care’s parking and traffic plan ahead of an expected March opening. The dispensary is located on Industrial Avenue East.

Over the last month, city officials have had multiple meetings with Patriot Care staff to review appropriate traffic and parking plans.

Traffic has been a concern across the state since Leicester experienced major backups after one of the first two recreational stores opened in that small town in November.

Patriot Care will have at least 80 on-site parking spaces. They’re also finalizing an agreement for an off-site lot with about 100 spaces; from there, they will run a shuttle to the facility.

For traffic management, Patriot Care is working with MassDOT, and will have electronic message boards on both Interstate 495 and Route 3 directing traffic to the facility. Detail officers from Lowell and State Police are expected to help manage traffic, in addition to Patriot Care security personnel.

Furthermore, Patriot Care plans on taking pre-orders from folks while they’re standing in line -- to swiftly move customers along.

Opening day will be on a Saturday, according to officials, so that both Patriot Care and the city can first evaluate the traffic generated over the weekend before workday traffic is impacted.

“Both city staff and Patriot Care are confident that we have taken the appropriate steps to prepare for and mitigate the potential traffic and parking issues arising from this opening, and we are committed to continuing to work together to make sure these plan continue to work going forward,” Eric Slagle, director of Development Services, wrote in the memo.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.