First Massachusetts recreational marijuana shops open today

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Two recreational marijuana stores are now receiving customers

Massachusetts has opened its doors to recreational marijuana use and, after a substantial wait, the first two recreational dispensaries have flipped on their lights and have started to receive customers this morning.

One of the two is located in Leicester. Cultivate Holdings had planned to open its doors starting at 10 AM this morning, but decided to push it up to 8 AM due to customer interest.

The other is New England Treatment Access. The Northampton recreational dispensary also opened its doors at 8 AM this morning.

The two stores were given final approval by regulators with the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) last Friday. Both had received initial approval in October, and the wait is finally over. They become the first two recreational marijuana shops to open in the eastern U.S.

Recreational marijuana was approved in Massachusetts over two years ago. Retail sales had expected to begin this past July, but was delayed due to regulatory obstacles.

To date, the CCC has approved 12 final licenses and has issued another 64 provisional licenses. However, the license is just the first step in a long process that includes inventory control, approval by the state’s Board of Health and more. It has been argued that the CCC has intentionally throttled back on the introduction of recreational marijuana license approvals, a statement the commission has denied.