NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — With its youthful vibe and eclectic mix of culture, a small Massachusetts city seems a logical site for the nation’s first legal recreational marijuana sales east of Colorado.
An existing medical marijuana dispensary in Northampton — nestled in Massachusetts’ scenic Pioneer Valley — plans to open its doors within days to anyone 21 or older looking for products ranging from pre-rolled joints to cannabis-infused edibles, creams, lotions and cooking oils. A second store in the small town of Leicester could also open at or around the same time, while dozens of other retail applicants await final licensing approval from state regulators.
The initial openings come two full years after Massachusetts residents backed legalization, a vote hailed by a burgeoning cannabis industry eager to expand its geographic base beyond the several western U.S. states where recreational marijuana is sold.
Massachusetts is projected to see sales of at least $1.8 billion and