Abigail Sanchez, center, helps a customer at the Insa cannabis dispensary in Salem, decorated for Halloween as a mysterious forest, on Monday. (Alena Kuzub)
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SALEM — Weed and witches and woods ― oh my!
A local cannabis retailer is leaning into the Halloween tradition by decorating its store as a mystical forest, providing customers with an immersive experience and exploring the stories of people accused of witchcraft through the city’s history.
“There’s a centuries-long history of healers, who used plants and herbs to promote well-being and cure ailments, being accused of witchcraft. In Colonial America and Europe, healers were looked at with skepticism, bigotry, and fear — not much different than how some people still dismiss the cannabis industry today,” said Pete Gallagher, co-founder of Insa, whose cannabis retail store is located on Highland Avenue. “By recognizing the past, we can go forward and help break down some of the unwarranted stigmas that are still attached to using cannabis.”
This is the first time the company has had a chance to celebrate Halloween with the Salem community since it opened in November of 2019. The store