Marijuana dispensary sales totaled nearly $24 million in just the first two months of legal cannabis in Massachusetts, according to state officials. Data released by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission this week shows that $23.8 million in cannabis products have been sold since late November, when retail cannabis dispensary sales began in the state.
Sales of legal cannabis have been strong in Massachusetts from the beginning. In just the first five days of legalization, the only two dispensaries that had opened at the time sold more than $2 million in cannabis goods. Those initial marijuana retailers, New England Treatment Access (NETA) in Northampton and Cultivate in the Worcester County town of Leicester, have since been joined by several more.
The commission also released sales figures for the last week. During that time, retailers sold 76,606 units of cannabis products. The average cost per item was $43.86. A tax of 20 percent is assessed on cannabis products, with 17 percent going to the commonwealth and 3 percent to municipalities.
First East Coast State with Recreational Cannabis Sales
Massachusetts became the first state on the East Coast of the United States with legal recreational marijuana sales when dispensaries first opened on November 20 of last year. Stephen Mandile, an Iraq War veteran, was the first person in line at Cultivate when it opened. He told local media that he had 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 drew so much business its first week open that city officials called an emergency meeting to discuss traffic congestion in the town. Management at the dispensary has said that about 1,000 customers had 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.”