Boston residents will soon have a second nearby option for legally buying recreational marijuana. But they’ll have to make an appointment first.
After receiving final approval from state regulators this week, Garden Remedies announced adult-use cannabis sales will begin at the company’s Newton dispensary at 10 a.m. on Saturday (May 25). The 697 Washington St. store is the second Boston-area recreational pot shop, following the beginning of adult-use sales at NETA’s dispensary in Brookline.
Dr. Karen Munkacy, the founder and CEO of Garden Remedies, calls adult-use cannabis sales in Newton “a dream that is now becoming a reality” after years of work. The company also has medical dispensaries in Marlborough and Melrose (the former of which is also awaiting final approval for adult-use sales).
“This is tremendously meaningful to me, as a breast cancer survivor and long-time legalization advocate, because it is my deep-held conviction that adult access to this powerful, natural remedy should be a right, not a privilege,” Munkacy said in a statement Tuesday.
Here’s what customers should know if they plan to visit:
How to get in the store:
Garden Remedies will be open to all customers Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Newton store has been open to medical marijuana patients since 2016, by appointment only, and — similar to other Massachusetts dispensaries located in urban areas — the same will be required for adult-use customers, in the hopes of avoiding long, outdoor lines.
“We are determined to continue to be good neighbors here in Newton,” Munkacy said.
Beginning at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, customers could begin booking appointments through Garden Remedies’ website, the QLess mobile app, or by calling the Newton store at 844-344-2420. Upon reserving a time, customers will receive a confirmation text, which they’ll then have to show upon arriving at the dispensary in order to be allowed inside. Per state law, all visitors also will have to show a valid, government-issued ID proving they are at least 21 years old.
Garden Remedies will have separate reservations for medical and adult-use customers. Company officials say existing medical appointments should not be affected, nor will they have to compete with adult-use customers for time slots. The Newton dispensary says medical appointments are “typically available without a significant wait.”
Garden Remedies says it will provide live updates for adult-use wait times.
How to get there:
Similar to NETA’s opening, Garden Remedies is encouraging customers to take public transportation, rather than their personal cars, due to limited public parking in the area.
The Newtonville stop on the MBTA commuter rail’s Framingham/Worcester line is located literally across the street. From South Station, the trip is just over a 20-minute ride. Several inner express bus routes (553, 554, and 556) also have nearby stops on Washington Street at Harvard Street and at Court Street.
The dispensary also has a bike rack on-site, as well as Lime bikes available for those riding to and from the nearby suburban communities participating in the shared bike program. There are also two reserved spots for ride-share drop-offs directly in front of the store.
For customers who have no other choice than driving, Garden Remedies says there is limited metered parking on Washington Street available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parking is prohibited on Court Street or at the nearby Whole Foods or Marty’s wine and sandwich shop.
Making a purchase:
The Newton dispensary says it accepts cash and debit cards, and also has an on-site ATM.
A Garden Remedies spokeswoman said Wednesday the adult-use menu was still being finalized, but is expected to be the same as the medical menu, which includes several types of cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints, vape cartridges, and edibles, such as fruit chews and lozenges.
The dispensary does not expect to have any purchase limits beyond the state-mandated maximums of up to one ounce of marijuana flower or five grams of concentrate.