Massachusetts Opens First Recreational Pot Shops

First East Coast recreational pot stores open

First East Coast recreational pot stores open

In Leicester, Stephen Mandile, an Iraq veteran of the Army National Guard, was the Cultivate's first customer, according to WBZ.

The state has become the first to do so in the East Coast with two shops opening after recreational marijuana was legalized back in 2016.

Customers were shuttled to Cultivate, the Leicester store, from a parking lot about a mile away as police kept a visible but low-key presence outside. "It's way more than I expected", he said as he waited to pick up edibles and buds.

A number of states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in recent years, and an October 2017 Gallup poll found that almost two in three Americans say the drug should be legal.

"When I consume cannabis it's like putting on headphones and I can hear one song I can focus and I can finish a thought", he said.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz made the first purchase - a chocolate bar infused with 50 milligrams of THC - at the city's New England Treatment Access facility.

The rollout of legal pot sales has been slow in MA, with regulators saying they wanted to make sure it was done safely and without supply shortages that initially plagued other states.

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Daquaan Hamilton, a 22-year-old student at nearby University of Massachusetts-Amherst, was among the first inside the Northampton store after waiting for hours in show and rain.

"Everybody is happy to celebrate".

"I do think that as a longtime supporter both of legalization of medical marijuana and as a supporter of adult-use marijuana, I think it sends an important message that I'd be the first person to make that purchase", Narkewicz said during a news conference on Monday.

Democratic Gov. -elect Ned Lamont of CT supports legalization and hopes it will be a priority for state lawmakers next year.

To gain the adult-use licenses, the two establishments "underwent thorough background checks, passed multiple inspections, and had their products tested", according to the state's Cannabis Control Commission.

Tuesday could be the beginning of a budding enterprise in MA.

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