The opening of retail locations to sell recreational marijuana in Massachusetts makes Nov. 20, 2018 a day that will stand out in history. This day has been two years in the making since the decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use was made in 2016. The day is notable both for the state and the entire East Coast of the US.
One location in Leicester and one in Northampton, named Cultivate Holdings and New England Treatment Access respectively, opened their doors for the first time at 8 a.m. The Mayor of Northampton, Air Force veteran David Narkewicz, was the first customer. He opted for a cannabis-infused chocolate bar, noting his purchase was for posterity rather than consumption.
In an interesting coincidence, it was an Army veteran who was at the head of the line to purchase products from the Leicester location as well. Stephen Mandile said that this occasion was something he had dreamed of in high school and was notable because of the acknowledgement of veterans in the area as well.
State officials believe the stores will be a draw for interested parties from surrounding states, due as much to the fact they are the only ones on the East Coast as for the marijuana products on sale. Massachusetts is the seventh state to open recreational marijuana retail locations, but all previous states were west of the Mississippi River.
Other business owners near the locations seemed supportive of the openings, sharing hope that business would also be drawn to their stores as people flocked to visit the marijuana product retail locations.
The process to open these stores was a lengthy one, something a commission has been working hard to reach since its inception in 2017. Meanwhile, the state officials have been learning from successes and struggles in other states where the drug was legalized in an attempt to minimize similar situations in Massachusetts.
Adults over the age of 21 are permitted to purchase a flower that weighs one ounce or 20 servings of edibles. Each must be packaged in child-resistant packaging. These are only a hint of the strict guidelines in place for marijuana sales within the state. However, consumers and business owners alike are happy to see the doors open and are willing to work within the regulations to get legal marijuana.