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Leicester holding emergency meeting to address pot shop traffic

Traffic backed up on Main Street as cars waited in line to get to a parking lot, and then get on a shuttle bus to ride to Cultivate to buy recreational legal marijuana. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Officials in Leicester are holding an emergency meeting Monday night to figure out how to handle the traffic that has swarmed the small town in the days since Cultivate opened for recreational marijuana sales.

The Leicester pot shop became one of the first two recreational marijuana shops on the East Coast when it opened its doors Tuesday morning, and hundreds of customers have eagerly waited outside in rain, snow, and freezing temperatures to buy products.

Cultivate served about 1,000 customers on its first day of recreational sales, and hundreds more waited in line on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.


Over the weekend — overlapping with Small Business Saturday — long lines once again greeted customers driving up to the store, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Now, as Cultivate enters its first full week in business, local officials are concerned the “rush of customers” to the store will be larger “than initially forecast.”

The notice of the public hearing, posted on the town’s website, was called to “address potential traffic, parking, and public safety concerns.”

“These concerns became relevant only after it was determined the initial rush of customers to the business would be greater and longer in duration than initially forecast,” the notice states.

A spokeswoman for Cultivate said the shop is “seeing an extended period of high volume sales.”

“While that is really exciting, the most important thing to us, is that we are being good neighbors in the community,” Cultivate spokeswoman Francy Wade said in a statement. “We will be working with the town to improve parking and continue to make this rollout as smooth as possible.”

Monday’s gathering is considered an “emergency meeting” because it was announced with less than 48 hours notice, per the state’s Open Meeting Law. In cases of emergency, the law states, “emergency meetings must be posted as soon as reasonably possible prior to the meeting.”


The Select Board and Planning Board meeting, requested by Leicester Town Administrator David Genereux, will begin at 7 p.m. in a conference room at Leicester Town Hall.

Dan Adams of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.