Brookline recreational marijuana shop says lines are under control as most customers reserve ahead of time
Three days into recreational marijuana sales in Brookline, New England Treatment Access leaders say their wait times have been — at most — about an hour long and that most customers are taking advantage of the store’s reserve ahead program.
Leaders at NETA, which began recreational marijuana sales on Saturday at the corner of Washington and Boylston streets in Brookline, said Monday the store had made sales to about 5,000 customers over the weekend — 2,500 on Saturday and 2,500 on Sunday.
About 65 to 70 percent of customers have been using NETA’s reserve ahead program that allows people to look through the store’s menu online ahead of time, place an order, and then go through an expedited line at the store.
Customers have had an average wait time of about 10 minutes in that line, said Amanda Rositano, NETA’s director of operational compliance.
The program has made all the difference, Rositano said. In Northampton, where NETA opened one of the first two stores on the East Coast in November, less than 20 percent of customers used Reserve Ahead in the opening days, resulting in much longer lines and several hourlong waits.
“We saw about the same number of people, but we were working through them so much more quickly [in Brookline],” Rositano said. “It really allows us to expedite the lines, and we expect in due time, there won’t be much of a line at all.”
Since Saturday, NETA’s opening has gone smoothly, “as smoothly as we could have ever hoped for,” Rositano said.
Even as the workweek began Monday morning, Rositano said the store’s opening time of 10 a.m. was timed perfectly to avoid the weekday rush hour.
“We prepared out of an abundance of caution in the event that things didn’t go well,” Rositano said, adding that the number of customers visiting the store has been “in line with our expectations.”
Rositano said she’s also been reassured by patients who have visited the store for medical marijuana purchases since Saturday and said their experience had not been not interrupted or impacted.
They have been “truly prioritized,” she said. “That really has made this all the more meaningful for us.”
NETA is the state’s 13th recreational marijuana shop to open and the first in Greater Boston.
A 14th store — Patriot Care Corp. in Greenfield — has received approval to open, but has not yet announced its opening date.