Get in loser we’re going shopping
Massachusetts, also known as The Bay State, is set to make history today with the opening of the first recreational marijuana shops on the East Coast.
It’s been more than two years since voters decided to legalise the use of non-medical cannabis, but it took until this morning for the state to join the likes of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California and Nevada, where recreational marijuana sales are legal.
Unfortunately, the two (former) medical marijuana facilities opening their doors today have super boring names. Stoners of Leicester can head to Cultivate Holdings, which sounds like an estate agent for farmland; and Northampton’s outlet is the New England Treatment Access (NETA). Both will be opening their doors to customers from eight in the morning, and will sell weed to anybody over 21.
Voters in the state decided to legalise medical marijuana back in 2012, and voted again in favour of legalising its recreational use in 2016. Chairman of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, Steven Hoffman, told NBC News that the process leading up to this point had been “pretty intense” and “non-stop”, given that the practice of recreational marijuana sales is fairly new, and is still considered a “very controversial issue”. With the launch of two commercial weed stores, local activists are hoping this may go some way to destigmatising the drug.
Stephen Mandile, a medical marijuana advocate, will be the first to see the store in Leicester, she told the Boston Globe “I get to make history. It means a lot, and I never expected this would be the outcome of my advocacy. I was just trying to go about helping people. I’m pumped to break the stigma and the weird, scary aura people want to put around cannabis.”
The stores will supply a large range of weed-related products which can be categorised by cannabis flower which is commonly used to roll joints, cannabis extract, otherwise known as concentrate, used in edibles from brownies to lollies, and cannabis-infused products, according to USA Today. Local news outlets have reported that large queues are expected and traffic plans and portable toilets are in place to prepare for large demand.
At the moment, state regulations won’t allow customers to purchase items that amount to more than one ounce of flower, or its concentrate equivalent. Purchased products can only be consumed in homes and private spaces, as weed is still illegal in public.