Wareham Shows It Can Handle Marijuana Store [OPINION]
Recreational marijuana stores are blossoming around Massachusetts. Verilife opened on Friday in Wareham, and the story is that there was no story.
The only problem so far with the opening of recreational marijuana stores in Massachusetts has been the traffic. The people flocking to buy marijuana and the lack of experience with the handling of the traffic has snarled life around the store in Leicester. In fairness, being the first of two stores in all of the northeast was going to bring a circus to town and create impossible conditions.
Wareham and the folks at Verilife had the benefit of observing and learning from the experience in Leicester. That they used the experience to plan is a credit to the professionalism of the Wareham Police and the owners of Verilife. They created off-site parking and a shuttle bus location at Water Wizz (made famous in Adam Sandler's movie Grown Ups) on Route 28. Using Route 28 was smart because it is designed to handle heavy commercial traffic. Finding a parking lot off-site isn't enough. The roads leading into the location must also be capable of handling the volume of cars.
They also verified the identification of customers at the Water Wizz parking lot prior to having them board the shuttle to the store's location. By doing it at the parking lot, as people were already waiting for the shuttle, they prevented a bottleneck at the retail location.
The store opened Friday. I went down on Saturday afternoon to observe for myself how the process was running. It was moving like a clock. I spoke to some customers and they were happy with the experience. The police officers said they had no problems with the people and the process was smooth.
One of the keys to legal recreational marijuana is how it impacts the people who are hosting the outlets in their community. The story in Wareham is, so far, there is nothing to complain about, and there is really nothing to see here unless you want to go to the shop.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.