Deal for ATG in the works

MIKE SPRINGER/Staff photoChristopher Edwards, CEO of Alternative Therapies Group, speaks Tuesday before the Haverhill City Council about his plan to open a marijuana shop in Haverhill under the name Haverwell Market LLC. Ownership questions arose as councilors asked about a Las Vegas-based company whose name was now on the application for approval.

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

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

The news came after Edwards appeared before the Haverhill City Council on Tuesday night and presented a bid to open a marijuana retailer on Amesbury Road in that city.

The issue was tabled amid questions about who would own the business, in part because of inconsistencies in the ATG's 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 business.

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

Those businesses include the Salem shop at 50 Grove St., a planned retail shop on Elm Street in Salisbury and a marijuana growing facility in Amesbury, as well as a retail shop slated to open on Macy Street in Amesbury.

"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 more 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 Town Manager Neil Harrington did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday regarding the potential change in 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 was 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 approval from the Cannabis Control Commission to commence operations. The company has worked out launch plans with Salisbury police ahead of time. 

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

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