November 20, 2018 marked the first East Coast sales for recreational cannabis in the United States. Two retail locations in Massachusetts opened their doors to customers—Cultivate in Leicester and New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton.
According to local reports (1), customers waited in long lines but were excited to be part of history. The stores were stocked with various products ranging from different strains of bud, pre-rolled joints, and edibles such as brownies and chocolate bars. Both stores were well prepared with products and no shortages were reported.
Massachusetts predicts its cannabis market has the potential to be a $1.5 billion/year industry. However, it has been more than two years since Massachusetts voters approved adult recreational use. Critics blame the slow roll out on a number of causes such as the slow pace of the state to issue regulations and licenses as well as opposition from specific towns and cities that don’t want cannabis businesses in their area. The Cannabis Control Commission issued two additional licenses on November 20 to stores in Salem and Easthampton, both of which should open in the coming weeks.