“I think theres a lot going on here in trying to bring marijuana out of the shadows,” Narkewicz said.
But when asked whether the purchase is simply ceremonial or it will be consumed, Narkewicz said, “I am actually going to probably preserve it and display it…because it is historically significant.”
Video: Massachusetts opens first recreational pot stores
Massachusetts is the seventh state to open retail marijuana shops, but the first to open them east of the Mississippi. The milestone comes as the cannabis industry celebrates a series of new highs.
Earlier this month, Michigan became the first Midwestern state to approve recreational cannabis– joining 10 other states and Washington, D.C. In October, Canada became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana.
Video: Recreational marijuana sales start Tuesday, Northampton braces for traffic
But the steady march of marijuana legalization has Dr. Sharon Levy concerned. She runs the adolescent substance use and addiction program at Boston Childrens Hospital.
“Instead of saying, Well, well assume these things are safe until theyre proven harmful, maybe we should be saying These things might be harmful until theyre proven safe. I dont think thats something weve done a very good job with,” Levy said.
Video: Excitement Builds Ahead Of First Recreational Marijuana Sales In Mass.
Legalizing Marijuana Is One Of New Connecticut Governors Priorities
Amanda Rositano is the director of operational compliance for New England Treatment Access – or NETA – which, as of today, sells a range of cannabis products including pre-rolled joints, loose buds, oils and edibles to anyone over the age of 21.
“I think dependence can be an issue just like dependence can be an issue when it comes to ice cream. We will advocate using moderation, educate people about cannabis,” Rositano said.
An image of the chocolate bar purchased by the mayor. Source: David Narkewicz MoreWhen asked about projected revenues for the city, Narkewicz said the figures are unknown. While hes expecting a high volume of sales, he says theres no data to accurately reflect recreational demand in his region.
Under Massachusetts law, retail shops can sell each customer no more than an ounce of flower or 20 servings of edibles – both in child-resistant packaging. For now, those restrictions and others are good enough for Mayor Narkewizc.
“There has been marijuana use going on in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a long, long time. Whats changing is its now being regulated. Its now being tested. Its now being strictly monitored. Thats really the major change thats happening,” Narkewizc said.
Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)
Massachusetts Cannabis Stores Open
Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana more than two years ago, but retail stores had to meet a number of rigorous conditions laid out by the state before opening. The initial small rollout is intentional. Lawmakers are hoping to avoid problems other states, like Colorado, have faced such as increases in crime.
Will Connecticut Be Next?
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