Northampton preparing for first day of recreational marijuana sales

Hampshire County

The end of this week is Black Friday. But Tuesday is Green Tuesday!

The first recreational marijuana sales east of the Mississippi River will be made in western Massachusetts.

Long lines are expected at NETA in Northampton on Tuesday, one of two recreational marijuana shops in the state. The other will be in Leicester.

“We’ve been working for many months now to increase our staffing levels,” Amanda Rositano, director of operational compliance at NETA. “We’ve added over 100 staff members to our organization. It’s going to be an all hands on deck situation in Northampton.”

NETA will open their doors at 8 a.m. Tuesday NETA has added more than 100 staff members to the organization to make sure business runs smoothly with the expected increase in customers.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz said he’s proud to support the recreational marijuana industry.

“Tomorrow will be a historic day and that will obviously be an historic first purchase so I think it’s something that I will hang on to and probably display in some way appropriately,” Mayor Narkewicz told 22News.

Massachusetts will become the seventh state to allow adults over 21 to purchase pot for recreational use. Massachusetts voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, but it has taken longer than expected to determine which stores would sell recreational pot.

“Northampton has been a strong supporter of that,” Narkewicz said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Our voters voted 75 percent in favor of medical and almost 70 percent in favor of recreational.”

Originally, retail sales were expected to begin July 1. Now, consumers over 21 with a valid ID will be able to purchase one ounce of marijuana from licensed stores or dispensaries. 

“They have been a good partner to us as far as business in our community selling medical marijuana,” said Northampton police Chief Jody Kasper. “We’ve had no issues down here. We don’t get calls down here.  They’ve been good so we’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Northampton police are working with NETA to make sure everything goes smoothly on Tuesday.

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