ATG being sold to as-yet-unknown buyer

MIKE SPRINGER/Staff photoChristopher Edwards, CEO of Alternative Therapies Group, speaks Tuesday about his company's plan to open a marijuana shop in Haverhill. Edwards confirmed Wednesday that a deal has been struck to sell the medical/recreational marijuana business with a grow facility in Amesbury, a medical and retail dispensary in Salem and a soon-to-be open medical and recreational marijuana shop in Salisbury.  

SALEM — Alternative Therapies Group, the only recreational marijuana seller open on the North Shore, is in the process of selling to a new owner.

Company CEO Chris Edwards confirmed Wednesday that ATG has "signed a deal to sell the business," but to date they "have not applied for regulatory approval yet."

The news came after Edwards appeared before the City Council in Haverhill Tuesday night, where he presented a bid to open a marijuana retailer on Amesbury Road in that city. The issue was tabled amid questions of who would own the business, in part because of inconsistencies in the business' application — it appeared there was a name change of the company from Haverwell Market to TGIG LLC. An online search indicated it was a Las Vegas company, not a Massachusetts company.

Edwards, who would not comment Wednesday on Tuesday night's hearing, said the Haverhill proposal is a separate entity and is not connected to ATG at all. He said businesses with the ATG name are being sold to a new ownership group who will retain the business name.

Those businesses include the Salem shop at 50 Grove St., a planned retail shop in Salisbury and an existing marijuana grow facility in Amesbury, as well as a planned retail shop there. 

"Nothing is really changing aside from the ownership. They will still operate as Alternative Therapies Group," Edwards said. "Same team, same products."

Edwards declined to discuss additional details on the pending sale of ATG, including identifying the buyer, ahead of the company's application to the state.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Ward 6 City Councilor Beth Gerard, who represents the part of the city in which ATG is located, also declined to comment Wednesday on the pending sale, citing a lack of specifics.

Salisbury officials did not respond to a request for comment regarding the potential change of ownership. 

ATG was the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in the state in 2015, and it was the third to launch recreational sales at the end of 2018. The business launched with an appointment system and a host of parking restrictions and traffic plans. The advanced planning gave the business a smooth retail launch, and even opponents of recreational marijuana said they were pleased with the rollout.

But in February, an inventory glitch meant the shop had to suspend all recreational marijuana sales. Retail operations resumed in early April, and a lifting of all purchase limits and appointment requirements came about a week later.

News of the possible sale comes as ATG gears up to open a retail store on Elm Street in Salisbury. As of this week, the business is waiting for a green light from the Cannabis Control Commission to commence operations. The company has worked out launch plans with Salisbury police.

 

Staff writers Mike LaBella and Jim Sullivan contributed to this report. 

Contact Salem reporter Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or DLuca@salemnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

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