Recreational marijuana sales will begin in Massachusetts on Tuesday, according to the state Cannabis Control Commision.
Massachusetts voters approved legal recreational marijuana on Nov. 2016. It became legal to grow, possess and use marijuana that December, and pot shops were set to open July 1, 2018. That highly-anticipated milestone was pushed back as state legislators needed to issue licenses to independent testing laboratories as well as businesses.
But now, people will finally be able to walk into the two fully-licensed Massachusetts pot shops to purchase marijuana after the Cannabis Control Commission on Friday authorized the retail establishments to start recreational marijuana sales in three full calendar days. The first sales are expected on Tuesday.
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“Upon issuing notices today for two retail marijuana establishments to comment adult operations in Massachusetts,” the Cannabis Control Commission said in a release on Friday, the state is urging adults to be aware of the law and to “consume responsibly.”
“This signal to open retail marijuana establishments marks a major milestone for voters who approved legal, adult-use cannabis in our state,” Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman said in a statement. “To get here, licensees underwent thorough background checks, passed multiple inspections, and had their products tested, all to ensure public health and safety as this new industry gets up and running. As patrons look forward to visiting Massachusetts stores, we hope they will do their part by first familiarizing themselves with the law and understanding what is required of responsible consumers.”
People can visit MoreAboutMJ.org to learn about the effects of marijuana and the state’s recreational marijuana law, according to the Cannabis Control Commission.
While you can soon purchase recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, you cannot use marijuana while operating a vehicle, have an “open container” of marijuana or marijuana products in your car like with alcohol, consume or smoke marijuana in a public place or purchase more than one ounce of recreational marijuana (or five grams of marijuana concentrate) at a time.
Where to buy recreational marijuana in Massachusetts
The two fully-licensed recreational marijuana shops in Massachusetts are Cultivate Holdings at 1764 Main St. in Leicester and New England Treatment Access (NETA) at 118 Conz St. in Northampton.
These pot shops are separate from the medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.
NETA will begin recreational marijuana sales on Tuesday, a spokesperson told WBUR. That shop opens at 8 a.m. It is not immediately clear when Cultivate Holdings will begin recreational marijuana sales, but they can start on Tuesday at the earliest, and that facility opens at 10 a.m.
It's also not clear how long these shops will be the only two recreational marijuana retail spots in the state. Fifty-five businesses have submitted applications to the Cannabis Control Commission.