Massachusetts’ First Legal Recreational Marijuana Sales to Occur on November 20

The first legal recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts will take place on Tuesday, November 20.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightTwo marijuana retail outlets were given the green light today to begin selling recreational marijuana next week. New England Treatment Access in Northampton and Cultivate Holdings in Leicester will become the first outlets to sale marijuana as part of the state’s legalization initiative (passed by voters in 2016).

Both stores, which were given the go-ahead to open in three days by the Cannabis Control Commission, say they will open their door to recreational marijuana customers the morning of November 20. New England Treatment Access plans to open at 8 a.m., while Cultivate Holdings will open at 10 a.m.

As reported by the Associated Press, the “commence operations” notice given to the two outlets requires them to wait three calendar days before opening so they can coordinate with local officials and law enforcement. The openings are expected to draw big crowds, based on the experiences of other legal U.S. states and Canada when they first launched recreational sales.

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

Legal-marijuana advocates, who had complained about the slow pace of regulatory approvals in the state, cheered the news .

“We can rightfully squawk about state delays and problematic local opposition, but the fact remains that we’re the first state east of the Mississippi to offer legal, tested cannabis to adult consumers in safe retail settings,” said Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the group that led the ballot question to legalize recreational pot.

Borghesani called it a “historic distinction” for Massachusetts.

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