Delays opening recreational pot shops continue in Massachusetts

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The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has voted to approve a final license for New England Treatment Access in Northampton to sell recreational marijuana.

Even though the license has been approved, NETA won’t be able to start selling pot to the public right away. 

Related: CCC approves final license for Northampton facility to sell recreational marijuana

Massachusetts voters legalized recreational marijuana on November 8, 2016, and the Cannabis Control Commission hoped to launch it by July 1 of this year. 

“Inside all the dispensaries in the area, they’re ready. Like, they have a whole section for recreational ready to open,” said Maisie Kaiser, who lives in Northampton and has a medical marijuana card. “I just keep going in there wondering when it’s going to happen.”

Regulators still need to approve an independent laboratory to test the pot before it can be sold recreationally. Another delay – the commission will need to inspect each licensed dispensary to certify that it complies with state regulations. 

New England Treatment Access on Conz Street in Northampton could be the first dispensary in the state to sell marijuana recreationally.

People in Northampton said it’s been a long time coming. 

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Luis Levia of Northampton. “I think it’s going to bring lot of revenue for the town, tax revenue.”

An attorney for the cannabis business in Massachusetts told 22News that the state loses roughly $176,000 in tax revenue everyday that recreational pot isn’t being sold. 

The CCC said its priority is a proper rollout of the industry, rather than meeting a specific deadline. 

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