Newton marijuana store seeks end to appointment-only rule, as nearby competition grows – The Boston Globe

Garden Remedies is based in Newtonville, where it operates a store at 697 Washington St., but the company also owns retail stores in Marlborough and Melrose.

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A Newton ordinance passed in 2018 requires the city to allow a maximum of eight marijuana retailers. Garden Remedies opened in 2019, and seven other applicants are making their way through the approval process, which requires review by local and state authorities.

When Garden Remedies opened, the city took steps to address concerns that the store manage the flow of customers and cars, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said in a statement at the time.

Marijuana stores are not required to operate by appointment only under the city’s ordinance, but the City Council has included the restriction in the three special permits for retailers it has approved so far.

Herold said Garden Remedies has been working with the city’s Planning and Development Department, and will formally ask that the appointment-only restriction be lifted this year.

Meanwhile, city councilors are considering rules allowing marijuana courier and delivery businesses — separate from retail shops — to open in Newton. The proposed zoning changes will be the subject of a March 8 public hearing.

Legalization of retail marijuana in Newton has taken a circuitous route in recent years.

In 2016, a majority of Newton voters approved a state ballot question that, among other things, allowed a legal marketplace for retail marijuana in Massachusetts.

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Two years later, Newton voters were asked to decide on a pair of non-binding local measures: one to ban marijuana shops outright, and another to restrict how many could open in the city. A majority of city voters turned down the restrictions.

Aside from Garden Remedies’ store in Newtonville, two other companies have reached agreements and secured special

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