Western Massachusetts cannabis users will have something extra to be thankful for next week as retail marijuana is set to begin sales on Tuesday.
In a news release sent to 22News, the Cannabis Control Commission is urging adults who enter the retail marijuana stores for the first time to know the law and consume responsibly.
The CCC has authorized Cultivate Holdings, LLC in Leicester and New England Treatment Access, LLC (NETA) in Northampton, to start selling marijuana and marijuana products on Tuesday.
“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. “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.”
NETA in Northampton will be one of the state’s first two locations to sell recreational marijuana and on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., NETA will officially open its doors for sales.
NETA sent 22News a statement expressing how thrilled they were to be part of this milestone for the state when they officially open. Full statement below:
We will be thrilled to be part of this milestone for Massachusetts when NETA Northampton opens its doors to adults 21-years and older offering legal, safe, regulated cannabis. We at NETA want to thank and congratulate the Cannabis Control Commission, Chair Steven Hoffman, Commissioners Kay Doyle, Jennifer Flanagan, Britte McBride, Shaleen Title, Executive Director Shawn Collins and the entire team at the CCC for their thorough and thoughtful approach that has led to this historic day. We also want to thank the city of Northampton, the Mayor, the Police Chief, the public safety departments, and the community for the support they have provided over these past months of preparation. NETA looks forward to providing legal marijuana to our customers, but we want our patients to know that we will never waver from our commitment to them and their needs. We look forward to our opening day, November 20 from 8am to 10pm.
NETA, Director of Government Affairs
NETA said they’re anticipating long lines, and police officers will be on Conz Street for traffic enforcement.
Medical patients will still have a separate section, so they shouldn’t be affected by the influx of customers.
NETA published a “start here” guide, which they’ll use to educate people on safe steps to starting legal consumption.
“Everyone will have access and will be educated on safe consumption and safe storage. Our motto here at NETA is low and slow, ensuring that people know to start with a low dose of cannabis, and only to increase that cannabis after they have waited a certain amount of time,” said Amanda Rositano, director of organizational compliance at NETA.
Starting Tuesday, people will be able to place an advance order on NETA’s website and will be notified when it is ready for pickup.
NETA said they’ve been stockpiling inventory in anticipation of their “adult-use” approval.
Adult-use cannabis sales start Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.
The Commission said the timing of the announcement allows retailers, law enforcement and community members enough time to adjust before sales begin. The CCC wants adult consumers to be aware of the following:
- 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.