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Tomorrow morning, the 20th of November, 2018, at 8 a.m., two military veterans will make history in Massachusetts by becoming the first recreational cannabis buyers in the state. One of these men, Stephen Mandile, will head to Cultivate, a dispensary in Leicester that will offer both medical and recreational cannabis. The mayor of Northampton, veteran David Narkewicz, will also be shopping at his local dispensary, called New England Treatment Access (NETA). Both men have expressed the desire to purchase edibles during their first transaction in the state under the new recreational cannabis law.
These transactions will be poignant firsts for the state of Massachusetts and the entire east coast. They will represent the very first legal cannabis sales under the Massachusetts legalization law, as well as the first legal adult sales in any state east of the Mississippi. After these gentlemen make history, countless other people in Massachusetts will also have the opportunity to purchase legal cannabis for adult use, without any medical certification.
Those purchasing legal cannabis from Massachusetts dispensaries will pay a special excise tax of 10.75%, as well as an optional 3% local tax. In some cases, that could push the total tax on the retail price of cannabis to 20%. However, those taxes are a small price to pay for a major step toward safe access for all adult and an end to racially-biased prohibition enforcement.
As with most other states, Massachusetts will likely experience hiccups and issues with the implementation of their new cannabis law. People can and likely will still end up arrested for cannabis offenses after legalization. This moment still marks a significant step for the people of Massachusetts, the cannabis activists who pushed for state legalization there, and everyone across the country working for more rational cannabis policies.
For previous Ladybud articles about legalization, click here.
Photo Credit: Ken Lund via Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0