Legal adult marijuana sales have begun in Massachusetts on Tuesday. Retailers in Leicester and Northampton opened their doors this morning, becoming the first legal pot shops on the east coast. Massachusetts is the seventh in the nation to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.
People age 21 and older with a valid ID will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from licensed marijuana retail stores, of which no more than five grams can be in concentrate form. It will still be illegal to consume marijuana in public, and crossing state lines with it is also against the law. According to the Cultivate website, an ounce of marijuana is around $350.
Marijuana products will be subject to a 6.25 percent state sales tax and a 10.75 percent state excise tax, and local towns have the option of adding additional taxes of up to 3 percent. A study released in June by the Department of Public Health estimated marijuana sales may generate more than $200 million for the state and up to $3 million for local governments in the next 2 years.
Marijuana Policy Project Deputy Director Matthew Schweich says, “Finally, adults will be able to purchase marijuana safely and legally in regulated, taxpaying businesses instead of resorting to the underground market. Adults will simply stop at a licensed store, show their ID, pay, and be on their way. It won’t be long before the novelty wears off and it feels just like buying alcohol from a liquor store.”
Marijuana possession has been legal for adults in Massachusetts since the successful Question 4 ballot question took effect on December 15, 2016. The initiative was approved by 53.7 percent of voters on November 8, 2016, and legislation to implement the initiative was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on July 28, 2017.
“Implementation took longer than expected, but the system is now up and running, and it appears to be on the right track,” Schweich said. “We applaud the many state and local officials who have taken part in the historic transition from prohibition to a regulated model. This is a living system that will grow and evolve over time, similarly to what we’ve seen with alcohol, and it can set an example for other states in the region and around the country.”
The Leicester Police Department is also ready for an influx of new people to the area. They have provided the following info for people who may not be familiar with the area. Be prepared to to park at 1894 Main Street and take a shuttle to the shop. There is no parking on Route 9, or in any non-Cultivate lots. Also, the store closes at 8PM, but police say they may start turning people away beginning at 5PM if the lines are long.
Cultivate in Leicester Opens For Retail Marijuana Sales On Tuesday 11/20/18Here Is What You Need To Know:• Rt 9 will…