Recreational marijuana shops across Massachusetts will reopen Monday for curbside pickup after a two-month closure because of the coronavirus outbreak.
But in the Boston area, busy streets and limited parking options have forced company owners to find unique solutions to “curbside pickup," creating at-the-door and order-ahead procedures to make the reopening process run smoothly.
Here’s what recreational marijuana dispensaries in the Boston area will do for their reopening next week:
Pure Oasis — 430 Blue Hill Ave.
Pure Oasis opened in March, just weeks before Governor Charlie Baker issued his initial nonessential business closure order. The dispensary, which serves adult-use customers only, is thrilled to be back starting Monday, said co-owner Kobie Evans.
“We were frozen in time,” Evans said.
Unlike stores in suburban or rural areas, Pure Oasis has no designated parking lot, so the traditional curbside pickup model doesn’t work for them. Instead, the company has created a “doorside” model.
Customers will order ahead online or by phone and be given a two-hour window to pick up their products. When they arrive at the dispensary door, their ID will be checked by a staff member, who will then radio inside for their products to be brought out.
Customers can pay online while ordering, or they can pay in person using a debit card or cash. Cash transactions must be done inside the entrance of the dispensary and “should require exact change so as to minimize contact and expedite transactions to avoid lines,” according to the Cannabis Control Commission.
“We are still living in a very stressful time, and a lot of customers rely on us for cannabis therapies to help them cope,” Evans said. “We’re just happy to finally be there for those people.”
New England Treatment Access — 160 Washington St.
NETA, which has retail locations in Brookline and Northampton, will reopen its Brookline store on Tuesday because of a licensing agreement with the town.
The store’s parking lot will remain closed, as it has been since beginning adult-use sales in March 2019, to create ample space for customers to stand while social distancing. Free parking for medical marijuana patients is available at a small lot across the street from the dispensary, and adult-use customers can park for free at the Homewood Suites down the block.
Customers must place their orders online ahead of time; they will be given a 15-minute increment for picking up their order. NETA president Amanda Rositano said the store can’t “guarantee service” if customers don’t arrive during their scheduled pickup time.
Customers will pay at the store’s rear door in the parking lot — there is not currently a mechanism for customers to pay when they place online orders — using either a debit card, credit card, or exact change in cash. Cash transactions are “strongly discouraged,” Rositano said, but if necessary, they will be done inside.
Because of the reserve-ahead model, Rositano estimated the store will be able to serve only about half as many adult-use customers as they were able to before the pandemic.
But, she said, they’re “incredibly grateful and appreciative to have the opportunity to reopen" at all.
Delivery for NETA’s medical marijuana patients will continue to be available in and around the Brookline area.
Garden Remedies — 697 Washington St.
Because of an agreement with the city, Garden Remedies in Newton has always operated on an appointment-only basis for adult-use customers.
In mid-March, ahead of the adult-use marijuana closures, the company began requiring online pre-orders, a process it will utilize when it opens for curbside pickup on Monday.
Customers must place orders online and choose a pickup time window. Customers “must stick to that window,” the company wrote on its website.
Garden Remedies will only accept debit cards, and payment will be taken when the order is picked up. Customers cannot pay online.