If you've been jonesing for a bone scored from someone other than the loose joint salesman on the street corner, take heart because New Bedford's first recreational marijuana retail store should be open for business soon.

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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Construction is currently underway on the city's first two pot shops. Ascend Dispensary at 115 Coggeshall Street will likely be the first to open. Ascend will dispense recreational and medical marijuana.

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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Ascend Dispensary owner Andrea Cabral said she expects to be operational this summer. Work crews continue to restore the red brick building just west of the Riverside Landing retail strip where Ascend will locate.

"It's a great location, and the store is going to be beautiful," Cabral said.

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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Cabral said she expects to employ 30-35 people.

"A likely a mix of mostly full-time and some part-time positions," she said. "We prioritize local hiring and will usually hold a job fair to maximize the number of local applications."

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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Beacon Compassion has just cleared property at 366 Hathaway Road and has yet to begin constructing a building to house its dispensary. Beacon Compassion, expected to open sometime next year, will dispense only medical marijuana.

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Owner Steve Angelo did not return a message seeking comment.

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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City Council President Ian Abreu, the former chairman of the Council's Cannabis Committee, said, "Medicinal and recreational cannabis dispensaries have helped infuse some additional much-needed revenue into the communities for which they are located."

"Cannabis consumption is completely legal in Massachusetts, and communities like ours stand to benefit greatly from its economic advantages," he said.

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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Abreu said New Bedford could realize about $36,000 in new tax revenue annually from each cannabis retail dispensary.

New Bedford's first cannabis dispensary is close to opening for business.
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Under state law, New Bedford could license as many as eight cannabis dispensaries. While several other proposals are under review, there are no other proposed facilities in the permitting phase at this time.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth Week.com reports the Dartmouth Select Board has signed a host community agreement with the Plainville-based Apotho Therapeutics to operate the town's first marijuana cultivation operation at 757 State Road. The company must still obtain a state license.

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