In just the first five days of legalized recreational cannabis, the two licensed dispensaries in Massachusetts have racked up over $2 million in retail pot sales. Sales figures for the period of Nov. 20 through Nov. 25 were released on Tuesday by the state Cannabis Control Commission. The totals are for the New England Treatment Access dispensary in Northampton and Cultivate in Leicester. The stores did not report sales for the Thanksgiving holiday.
On Tuesday, the first day of legal sales in Massachusetts, the stores sold more than $440,000 worth of cannabis products. The busiest day for cannabis sales was Black Friday, when sales of more than 12,000 units of product generated nearly $480,000 in revenue. Overall, purchases averaged more than three units per transaction with an average unit cost of $39.33. More than 56,000 units of cannabis product were sold by the two stores during those first five days of business.
Stephen Mandile, an Iraq War veteran, was the first person in line at New England Treatment Access when it opened last week. He told local media that he has been looking forward to the legalization of cannabis his entire adult life.
“I probably dreamed about it back in high school that this day would happen sometime, but to be actually able to do it today is amazing,” said Mandile. “To have veterans be recognized, not just myself, but to bring other veterans with me and to have it focused around that, it’s super special to me.”
In Leicester, Cultivate has been drawing so much business that city officials called an emergency meeting on Monday night to discuss traffic congestion in the town. Management at the dispensary has said that about 1,000 customers have visited the shop each day since opening. Dawn Gauthier, a resident who lives near Cultivate, said that the new cannabis shop has had a significant impact on the neighborhood.
“We have cars outside of our house seven days a week,” said Gauthier. “We have no life, it’s like living in a fishbowl.”
One unidentified customer said that despite the traffic, making a purchase at Cultivate was not difficult.
“It’s very organized,” the customer said. “Everybody is flagging everybody down. I asked a cop which way to go to get weed and he told me, so that feels weird.”
Cultivate and New England Treatment Access are the only two licensed recreational cannabis shops on the East Coast of the United States. Massachusetts regulators have issued final licenses for stores in Salem, Wareham, and Easthampton. Those retailers are expected to open soon. Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston has said the first licensed recreational marijuana dispensary in that city should open early next year. Voters in Massachusetts legalized recreational pot in the state in 2016.
The recreational use of cannabis has also been legalized in Vermont and Washington, D.C. but those jurisdictions do not yet have a framework for legal sales. Retail sales of cannabis are expected to begin in Maine next year.
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