Massachusetts residents queued for up to two hours today to buy cannabis on the first day of state legal sales. So far, local marijuana customers have two options; New England Treatment Access in Northampton and Cultivate in Leicester. At both locations, war veterans were the first historic customers to receive their cannabis.
Long waits on the curb echoed Massachusetts’ unexpectedly long process in opening the doors of the state’s retail locations a full two years after voters approved Question 4, which legalized cannabis for users of 21 years or older. Recreational sales had been projected to begin on July 1, but hit a series of roadblocks including a lack of testing labs and a desire to ensure proper supply. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission has now issued 20 provisional licenses, and was set to vote on two final retail licenses on Tuesday, so more cannabis shops should be opening within the next months.
Cannabis activist Stephen Mandile was the first to queue at the cash register of Cultivate, which received the state’s first retail permit this summer. Mandible, an Iraq War veteran from Uxbridge, Massachusetts, has been vocal in the struggle to ensure easy access to marijuana in his state.