Recreational marijuana is now legal and will be available for purchase in Massachusetts starting on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, making the state the latest in the legalization trend.
Where can you legally purchase recreational marijuana in the State of Massachusetts? See addresses and locations later in this article. At first, as of November 2018, there were only two locations where marijuana can be purchased for recreational use, although that list is likely to eventually expand. “Upon issuing notices today for two retail marijuana establishments to commence adult-use operations in Massachusetts, the Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) is urging adults who will enter stores for the first time to know the law and consume responsibly,” the Commission said in a press release.
You have to be at least 21-years-old to purchase marijuana in Massachusetts, and you can only buy one ounce of it at a time. According to WCVB-TV, it’s still rare for people in the U.S. to be able to buy marijuana for non-medicinal use. The other states where it was allowed as of November 2018 are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California and Nevada. Fifty-four other Massachusetts retailers have also applied to sell marijuana and could be approved down the line. Massachusetts voters approved recreational marijuana use in a referendum two years ago.
Here’s where you can legally buy recreational marijuana in Massachusetts:
Cultivate Holdings, LLC & New England Treatment Access, LLC
In a press release dated November 16, 2018, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission announced that it had approved two establishments to sell marijuana. They are:
Cultivate Holdings, LLC: 1764 Main Street, Leicester, MA 01524
“Cultivate is honored that we will be making history Tuesday by selling the first legal recreational cannabis in Massachusetts, New England and east of the Mississippi,” Sam Barber, CEO and founder of Cultivate, said in a statement to NECN-TV. The shop offers different strains of marijuana.
The state’s overview for Cultivate states, “All persons arriving at Cultivate must enter through the front entrance where they are greeted by security receptionists. The initial enclosure is where the security receptionist reviews identification and maintains visitor logs. Once approved for entry, all individuals enter the retail area. All other areas of the building outside of the retail area and a restroom for customers are limited access areas. All doors were locked and could only be opened with an ID badge. All doors had appropriate signage indicating they are limited access areas.”
According to WBUR-TV, at Cultivate, at first, customers will “be directed to a satellite parking lot a half mile away. Shuttle buses will ferry customers between the parking lot and the store, which is located on the outskirts of town, just off Route 9.” People will need a government issued ID.
New England Treatment Access, LLC: 118 Conz Street, Northampton, MA. Just off Interstate 18. Exit 81
The NETA website reads: “Open 7 days a week! Sunday-Saturday, 8:00am-10:00 p.m. No appointment necessary. Just come on by….Bus routes: B48, R41, R42, X98.”
The site also reports: “Patients, Adults 21+, all are welcome! Northampton (dispensary) will be open on Tuesday, 11/20, at 8:00 AM!”
The website further reports: “From I-90 (Mass Pike): Take exit 4 off Interstate 90 towards Holyoke and continue onto Interstate 91 North. Take exit 18 towards Northampton.
From I-91: Take Exit 18 off Interstate 91 and head towards Downtown Northampton. NETA is less than a minute drive from the highway.” You can read a handout with more information about NETA here.
The state’s overview for NETA reads, “All persons arriving at the Marijuana Establishment must enter through the front entrance, where they must be granted access into the lobby by security personnel. Security personnel are available at all times for clearance through the front entrance. Once security allows access electronically through the doorway, persons may not proceed further into the establishment without using a radio frequency identification (‘RFID’) access card.”
All visitors are required to wear badges at NETA.
“The Commission has authorized Cultivate Holdings, LLC and New England Treatment Access, LLC to start selling marijuana and marijuana products in three calendar days. The timing of the notices allows retailers to coordinate opening day logistics with their host community, local law enforcement, colleagues, and other essential stakeholders before sales begin,” the news release said.
“This signal to open retail marijuana establishments marks a major milestone for voters who approved legal, adult-use cannabis in our state,” Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman said in the news release. “To get here, licensees underwent thorough background checks, passed multiple inspections, and had their products tested, all to ensure public health and safety as this new industry gets up and running. As patrons look forward to visiting Massachusetts stores, we hope they will do their part by first familiarizing themselves with the law and understanding what is required of responsible consumers.”
The Commission offered these warning to consumers of recreational marijuana:
It is illegal to use marijuana while operating a vehicle. Adults should make plans for sober transportation when at risk of becoming impaired by marijuana or marijuana products.
Like alcohol, consumers cannot have an open container of adult-use marijuana or marijuana products in the passenger area of a car while on the road or at a place where the public has access.
Consuming marijuana or marijuana products in a public place is prohibited, as is smoking marijuana in any area where smoking tobacco is prohibited.
Per transaction, a retailer cannot sell more than one ounce of marijuana or five grams of marijuana concentrate – which are also the possession limits in Massachusetts – to an individual who is age 21 or older.
It is unlawful to carry marijuana or marijuana products across state lines or federal borders.
The impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. Start low, go slow.
There are four establishments approved by the Commission but only the two above will be open at first. The other two – CDX Analytics, LLC and MCR Labs, LLC – are independent testing labs, not retailers.