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Legal recreational weed moving closer to Conn.

January 9, 2019

Legal recreational weed is about to get a little closer to Connecticut on Friday.

That because on Friday the newest recreational marijuana dispensary will open in Great Barrington, Mass., on Route 7 - just 13 miles from the Connecticut state line.

Theory Wellness, that has been selling medical pot since 2017, says will have its “recrational launch” for sales at 10 a.m. at its 394 Stockbridge Road store.

Only buyers 21 or older can purchase the cannabis products.

“We are so excited to finally open our doors for recreational cannabis sales at our Great Barrington location,” Theory Wellness posted on its web site. “Focused on small batches and unique genetics, we strive to develop a premium range of flower, concentrates, and infused products for consumers in Massachusetts. In doing so, we commit ourselves to constant reinvention and self-scrutiny, working with and listening to each other, to further improve and enhance your cannabis experience.”

Expecting crowds on opening day, Theory Wellness posted information on parking and what people need to know on its web site.

According to its web site, people can purchase one item per category: up to a half-ounce of flower, a pre-rolled joint, a concentrate, a vape cartridge, an edible and one infusion.

It will be the third dispensary to sell legal recreational weed on Massachusetts. The two others - in Northhampton and Leicester - opened in November.

Currently, the closest recreational marijuana dispensary is NETA in Northhampton, that is about 28 miles from the Connecticut state line. It’s located a few miles off ofI-91 Exit 18.

Another marijuana dispensary - even closer to Connecticut - is in the works for Sheffield, Mass., the town just over the border from Connecticut.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that Berkshire Welco was given a provisional license by the state’s Cannibis Commission. Berkshire Welco, which will be doing business as The Pass, is still under construction.

Although Connecticut residents can purchase recreational weed in Massachusetts, there can be consequences to bring it back into Connecticut.

An adult age 21 or older, is able to cross the state line into Massachusetts to legally purchase recreational weed. But, state police said, there are repercussions for bringing it back into Connecticut after purchasing it.

“Connecticut law has only decriminalized marijuana, not legalized it,” state police said . “Still possessing a small amount of marijuana will result in a fine while a larger amount will result in an arrest.”

Connecticut State Police Troop B has a barracks on Route 7, about a mile from the Massachusetts border.

In Massachusetts, consumption of recreational marijuana may only occur in privately designated areas where smoking and/or vaping is allowed. Public consumption of marijuana may result in fines.

The opening of a recreational marijuana dispensary could bring some economic benefits to Great Barrington.

The town, along the banks of the Housatonic River, has several hotels and motels within walking distance of the dispensary. There are also many restaurants ranging from a McDonald’s to a brew pub.

Also nearby are the Butternut and Catamount ski areas.

Also in town is 1,642-foot Monument Mountain that overlooks the Berkshires. Hiking trails to the peak offer views as far as the Catskills in New York and the Taconic Mountains on the Vermont border.

Meanwhile, Connecticut has warmed toward a normalization of marijuana sales to all adult buyers in the state.

Last month, the state Department of Consumer Protection awarded nine new licenses for dispensaries to sell marijuana to medical patients who have notes from their doctors. It will bring the total to 18.

The latest awardees are in Stamford and Westport, the first locations on the Gold Coast of Fairfield County, along with New Haven, Waterbury and Torrington, among other places.

Ned Lamont, who becomes Connecticut governor on Wednesday, also favors the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Lamont says he doesn’t “want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in our state,” adding how he thinks “that’s a lousy way to go.”

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