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Recreational marijuana goes on sale Tuesday in Mass.

November 19, 2018

After winning final approval last week, two Massachusetts dispensaries will begin selling recreational marijuana on Tuesday.

The dispensaries in Northampton and Leicester (near Worcester) are the first commercial pot shops on the East Coast. The stores currently operate as medical marijuana dispensaries and have pledged to continue serving their registered patients.

Massachusetts voters legalized the use of recreational marijuana by adults 21 and older in 2016, but it’s taken more than two years for state legislators and regulators to reach the point where the first stores can finally open.

The Northampton store, operated by New England Treatment Access, said it would open for recreational sales at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Cultivate Holdings, which operates the Leicester store, said its doors would open at 10 a.m. the same day.

While the two Massachusetts stores can sell weed to Connecticut residents, state police said recreational pot is still illegal in Connecticut and can’t be brought across the border.

The Northhamption location at18 Conz St. is about a half-hour drive up I-91 from the Connecticut border. It’s about 2 miles from northbound I-91 (easy on, easy off) Exit 18.

On New England Treatment Access’ Facebook page, there is a “daily menu” of cannabis products. On its Flower products page, it offers such marijuana strains as Arcata Trainwreck, Tangerine Haze and Moonshine Haze. Prices are $100 for a quarter ounce, $175 for a half-ounce and $300 for an ounce. It also offers pre-rolled joints, marijuana distillate, kief, Shatter (a translucent concentrate), locations, vape products and edibles.

The Northhamption location will still sell medical marijuana to its patients. On its Facebook page, it reassured patients saying it will reserve at least 35 percent of its inventory for its patients on a daily basis. Patients have the option to access separate, patient-only, service stations.

It said their pot growing operation in Franklin, Mass. has been nearly doubled for cultivation and processing “to support the additional demands of adult use.”

The Facebook page drew a number of comments, some apparently from Connecticut residents.

“I might cry,” one man wrote. “ I’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time.”

“You will be getting all my Connecticut dollars,” wrote another.

“Looks like many vacations in Mass are coming for me!”

Another wrote, “Greetings from Long Island! Cross Sound ferry here I come!”

New England Treatment Access says its prepared for crowds this week. The company has already had ongoing discussions with local officials about traffic, parking and other public safety issues and is confident of a smooth opening, said Norton Albaraez, a spokesman for the company.

Recreational marijuana is currently sold in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California and Nevada. Maine voters also approved a legalization question in 2016, but stores in that state are not expected to open until next year at the earliest.

Previous reporting by the Associated Press was used in this story.

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