Thursday, July 18, 2024

Joseph Lekach prepares to open Apothca in Arlington. (Photo: Bob Sprague) photo

Arlington’s first adult-use recreational-marijuana store, Apothca, opens to the public at 10 a.m. Thursday, at 1386 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington Heights.

In a walk-through at the site Tuesday, its glass cases soon to be filled with no-longer-illegal products, Joseph Lekach, Apothca chief executive, smiled broadly as he said: “We beat Cambridge and Somerville.”

At the same site will be the store’s relocated medical-marijuana component, in town for almost two years on Water Street. Lekach called the offerings for both kinds of pot “robust.”

The store limits a customer’s purchase to one ounce of flower or five grams of concentrate. One-eighth ounce of “flower” generally costs $50 at Apothca. That can be anywhere from $20 to $40 on the street, by one source’s estimate, but Lekach noted that a customer does not know what he or she is getting in street buys, so he believes that knowledge is with the difference in price.

Cambridge and Somerville are focusing on economic empowerment applicants for recreational marijuana, with Cambridge’s two-year head start drawing a lawsuit from a medical marijuana seller who wanted to offer recreational sales as well. Both cities have applicants at various stages of approval, but none have signed host community agreements.

The Apothca location near the Lexington town line has an additional benefit that Cambridge and Somerville lack: Across the street is The Cookie Time Bakery – provider of the freshly made cookies that are resold at shops such as Pemberton Farms in North Cambridge and Cardullo’s in Harvard Square.

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