Massachusetts has officially broken the record for selling the most recreational cannabis in the first day of sales. In the first day alone, residents of Massachusetts purchased over $400K in recreational marijuana, while sales in the first five days totaled at least $2.2 million dollars. The legal marijuana market in Massachusetts is estimated to be worth some $1.5 billion dollars. Back in 2016, Massachusetts residents voted to make the possession and use of recreational cannabis legal for adults over the age of 21.
Two long years later, sales of recreational cannabis have finally begun in the state of Massachusetts. On November 18th of this year, despite the cold weather, Bay Staters came out in droves to purchase recreational marijuana (legally) for the first time. In fact, at one dispensary, NETA, the Mayor of Northampton, David Narkewicz, was the first in line to make a legal recreational purchase. According to Sam Barber, President of Cultivate, “We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response during the first two days of sales. This is an enormously gratifying moment for the whole Cultivate team to finally get to sell the products we have obsessed over creating for the past two years.”
So far, only two dispensaries have been approved to sell recreational cannabis: NETA, in Northampton, and Cultivate, in Leicester. Rumors indicate that a third dispensary in the Cape Cod area could soon make its debut and Boston’s first recreational cannabis dispensary is set to open its doors sometime in the beginning of 2019, although city zoning limits are currently making that process more difficult. Said Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) chairman, Steven Hoffman, “It’s only two stores but it represents, I think, a formidable accomplishment.” Norton Arbelaez, director of government affairs at NETA, had this to say: “There was a little bit of magic in the air yesterday. It’s really pleasing to see all the preparations we’ve done over the past two years come to fruition.”
An additional three stores have been approved by the CCC; according to Hoffman, “We have 22 other retail licenses that we have provisionally approved…they are pretty much all across the state, including three in Suffolk County. I have stayed away from giving specific forecasts of timing just because the licensees have to build up their facilities , and we have to go inspect.”
Residents of Massachusetts ages 21 and up are permitted to have up to one ounce of cannabis on their person at any time, and up to 10 ounces at home. The medical program is slightly less strict on the age requirement, with patients over the age of 18 being allowed to purchase medical marijuana. Public consumption of cannabis will still be illegal in Massachusetts. Dispensaries are limited to selling individuals a maximum of one ounce of flower form or five grams of cannabis concentrates. Moreover, edibles sold for recreational use are only allowed to contain up to 5 milligrams of THC per serving, with a maximum of 100 milligrams of THC being found in any single edible product (or the equivalent of 20 servings).