Take a look at AYR Wellness, Boston’s Back Bay’s first potty store – NBC Boston
This week, the first cannabis dispensary in Boston’s Back Bay will open its doors.
It’s a big step for the neighborhood filled with historic brownstones and high-end boutiques. NBC10 Boston was the only TV station to visit AYR Wellness before it opened to the public.
The new jars store is a short walk from the Apple Store and directly across from the Prudential Center. It measures 4,500 square feet and will bring recreational cannabis to Boylston Street.
Since Massachusetts legalized recreational sales more than five years ago, many stores have popped up in the suburbs, but only three dispensaries are open within Boston’s city limits. AYR will be the first to open in Back Bay.
“Cannabis has become a lot more normalized. I think the harsh stigmas have kind of gone away,” said AYR chief executive Julia Crawford.
Getting to the opening was far from easy. There have been years of controversy and many reactions from neighbors. After some concerns about queues outside the store, AYR created an online waiting list using a QR code.
“It’s just like a restaurant. Once you check in, it will tell you how long until you can get into the store,” Crawford said.
The company also managed to convince the neighborhood to get involved by promising an annual investment of $100,000 that will go back to the community. This is in addition to tax revenue.
“It would go towards homelessness, improving facades, open spaces, really whatever the community wants,” said AYR employee Dwan Packnett.
Packnett helped convince naysayers to come on board, which only made it easier to open more dispensaries in the area. She said the location is a big step for the industry.
“You can go to the Apple Store. You can go to Copley. You can dine, shop for clothes, and shop for products. Then it becomes part of your day. These are the types of things that will take away the stigma of cannabis. said Packnett.