SALEM — Medical pot sales is paving streets in Salem.
The city has received $330,750 from Alternative Therapies Group, the city’s only and state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, since the facility opened for the fiscal 2015-16 year. That includes $82,856.01 for its first year of operation ending in June 2016, and a $247,893.88 check from the nonprofit delivered just a few weeks ago for fiscal 2017.
Now, the city is putting that cash to use. The first year’s payment has gone toward the first phase of an engineering study on a gargantuan roadway project on Boston Street — a gateway into the city just around the corner from ATG, according to Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll.
“What we were hoping to do was to use it in the area for things like traffic mitigation measures, public infrastructure,” Driscoll said. “We already have spent some of it to do some of the design work for Boston Street.”
Boston Street is often seen by city leaders as the last gateway corridor into Salem that hasn’t benefited from steps toward an overhaul. North Street was rebuilt 12 years ago, Driscoll said, and Bridge Street followed it a few years later. Canal Street is under way now, and Highland Avenue has improvement ideas being tossed around at the state level.
In the end, the design work on Boston Street will encompass a massive project that will go curb to curb, head to toe on the busy road.
“If Canal Street is a $10 million project, you’re probably talking $15 to $20 million (on Boston Street) by the time you get to it,” Driscoll said. “The corridor has never been upgraded like this.”
There’s less known about what the most recent year of cash will cover, though the city has ideas, according to