The Rolling Stone Guide to Legal Pot: Massachusetts
Lobster rolls, a baseball game at Fenway and some locally grown cannabis? Starting July 1st, 2018, Massachusetts will be your one-stop destination for all three. After decriminalizing personal pot possession in small amounts in 2008 and legalizing medical marijuana in 2013, in 2016, Bay State voters finally approved a ballot measure that legalized recreational cannabis. It has taken a bit of time to sort out all of the regulations and policies surrounding it, but now, almost two years later, the state is close to opening its first legal recreational dispensaries. In only a few short months, both residents and tourists alike will be able to legally enjoy a range of dispensaries, cafés and other enticing cannabis-related offerings.
So what will happen on July 1st? Anyone 21-plus will be able to visit a dispensary or a cannabis cafe, walk inside, peruse a menu and order a couple grams, a few joints, or even an ounce of their favorite strain. While smoking isn’t allowed in dispensaries, cannabis cafes will provide space to enjoy their products. However, since the state is still in the process of handing out licenses, it’s unclear just how many retail businesses will be open, and where.
Thankfully, the state government’s Cannabis Control Commission learned a lot when it was figuring out how to regulate medical cannabis. “The state has made it a much easier and unbiased process,” says Tim Shaw, COO of MariMed Inc., who is in the process of opening three facilities in the state, including one near Cape Cod. “The first time around there was so much room for corruption. I think the state realized it wasn’t going anywhere,