A full-service cannabis dispensary is preparing to open on the border of Everett and Chelsea in the next few months on the site of one of the most infamous adult entertainment venues in the region – a first-class operation that looks to replace a low-class use that was an embarrassment to both cities for years.
Everett businessman Greg Antonelli is the owner and developer of the property, and announced that GreenStar Herbals will be the operator and hopes to open within the next few months.
He said he wanted to acknowledge the past, and help the community to look forward to a professional, thriving business within the approved zoning district for cannabis establishments.
“The stigma is gone now for Everett and Chelsea here,” he said. “At the time the City was doing the zoning for dispensaries and marijuana had been voted in for Chelsea, this seemed like an ideal location. I’m too young to remember the old days of King Arthur’s, but I know it was a bad history for both cities and we’re glad we can help do something different there, bringing in a nice new building and a first-rate, professional operators for an industry the City of Chelsea has welcomed.”
Antonelli noted that he purchased the property in the fall of 2017 and discontinued the use as a strip club immediately. More recently, last year, his company demolished the old King Arthur’s building while GreenStar finished up its state and local cannabis permitting. Now, the building is close to completion and GreenStar is finishing up all of the final details to get a “green” light to open before Sept. 1.
He said the City and City Manager Tom Ambrosino were excited to get rid of the adult entertainment use, and were happy to see a project that complied with the zoning on the former site of King Arthur’s.
GreenStar President/CEO Tom Morey said they are very excited to open the Everett/Chelsea store, and that it would be their third recreational location in Massachusetts. Already, they have successfully run dispensaries in Dracut and Maynard, and have the experience it takes to get the venture off the ground successfully.
“We have two stores open already and we’re excited to open soon our third one in Chelsea,” said Morey. “It’s been a long, multi-year process and we took the initiative to tear down the old King Arthur’s location and I think it’s going to be a great new state-of-the-art dispensary. We’re making it very high end and we want to provide the very best products in the market. We have a great variety and a constantly changing menu of products and the best quality from more than 30 cultivators in Massachusetts. We also have plenty of parking on-site. It’s going to be a fun place, a destination, and it is also close to the casino.”
One of the keys in the cannabis marketplace, Morey said, is having experience and having the foresight to have multiple products and a changing menu of flower and edibles. As more and more dispensaries open, he said the same old thing all the time does not attract repeat customers, but having variety and the best products all the time keeps a loyal following.
“Customers get bored,” he said. “They want variety and want to try new things. That’s the great thing about cannabis. It’s a great plant-based medicine that’s been helping people for years. Right now there’s a big tidal wave in this industry. Massachusetts has approved cannabis, and New York and Connecticut just approved it. It’s a tidal wave that’s new and is helping a lot of people deal with a lot of different ailments, from chronic pain to managing mental health and as an alternative to opioids or heavy drinking.”
GreenStar will feature flower, or bud, for about 60 percent of its products in the store, and will also sell the popular pre-roll cannabis cigarettes. They will also sell quantities up to one ounce, and will have alternative products like edibles, gummies, chocolates, tinctures, concentrates and CBD non-THC products.
“We will be offering a full suite of flower and edibles and all other products,” Morey said. “We’re able to offer our customers a great selection no matter what product they want, and we can’t wait to get that to the marketplace.”
GreenStar would operate seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., when they open. They also plan to make it a destination location, with revolving art shows in their gallery, musical performances, a fireplace and a player piano.