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Recreational Marijuana Is Officially Open For Business In Massachusetts


The East Coast’s first legal recreational marijuana shops are now open.

Medical marijuana shops in the Massachusetts cities of Northampton and Leicester opened Tuesday morning for recreational sales for the first time. The expanded business makes the Bay State the first on the East Coast to have legalized recreational sales, NBC News reports

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz was the first to make a recreational purchase in his city at New England Treatment Access. Narkewicz told NBC his purchase, a cannabis-infused chocolate bar, was symbolic and he would be preserving, not consuming, the newly legal product. Army veteran Stephen Mandile was the first buyer at Leicester’s Cultivate Holdings Tuesday morning. 

Massachusetts initially legalized medical marijuana in 2012 before expanding legality to recreational marijuana in 2016. The state has been slow to allow legal recreational pot shops, something marijuana advocates say lost the state $200K a day in potential revenue. 

Recreational marijuana sales are subject to a 6.25% state sales tax, 10.75% state excise tax and 3% local tax. Medical marijuana is untaxed in Massachusetts. Recreational sales are only allowed to those 21 and older. 

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh both opposed the move to legalize marijuana in the state.