First Eastern U.S. cannabis shops get the green light to launch in Massachusetts

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First Eastern U.S. cannabis shops get the green light to launch in Massachusetts

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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On Friday, November 16, Massachusetts’ first two cannabis stores were given the green light to start selling weed to adults. This makes the two businesses the first ever commercial cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts, not to mention the whole of the eastern United States,

One of the stores can be found in Leicester, while the other is located in Northampton. Each of the stores said that they would begin operations once the Cannabis Control Commission had given them the authorization to start selling commercial cannabis in Michigan. This happened on November 20 and now, they’re open for business.

In the first five days of opening, the two shops boasted more than $2.2 million in sales.

Sales of commercial cannabis in Massachusetts was due in July

Legal weed has been a long time coming for the people of Massachusetts. Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016, but it’s taken until now for the law to be effectuated.

Under the new law, weed will be available to adults aged 21 and over. Previously, the date on which state legislators and regulators had pinpointed as the start of retail sales was July 1. Clearly, their calculations were a little off.

Regulators sent out a “commence operations” notice demanding the stores to hold back from launching their businesses for at least three days, during which discussions can commence involving law enforcement officials and local officials. If other recreational cannabis states are anything to go by, such as Colorado and California, legalization is sure to bolster tourism.

“This signal to open retail marijuana establishments marks a major milestone for voters who approved legal, adult-use cannabis in our state,” said cannabis panel chairman Steven Hoffman 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.”

Greater Boston won’t have any cannabis dispensaries

Don’t expect to see cannabis stores popping up around the Greater Boston area because, well, they won’t be opening there. Head on over to the central and westernmost parts of the state to check out the dispensaries selling commercial cannabis in Michigan.

A lack of dispensaries in Greater Boston means that consumers might be forced to turn to the black market, what with more than half of Michigan’s population not having straightforward access to adult-use cannabis.

Anti-cannabis approaches have been taken in various Massachusetts towns and cities, some of which have completely banned the green plant and others of which have introduced strict zoning restrictions.