Exactly 600 days after Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the state’s first pot shops will finally be allowed to open their doors. But will they?
The July 1 starting date for marijuana sales isn’t as cut-and-dry as some may think, and residents shouldn’t expect scores of recreational dispensaries to immediately throw open their doors on that particular day (a Sunday, no less).
“July signifies a starting point, not an end point, for the evolution and growth of this industry,” Steve Hoffman, the chairman of the state’s marijuana regulator, the Cannabis Control Commission, told Boston.com in a statement Thursday.
With that starting point less than two months away, here’s what to expect from the sprouting retail marijuana market in Massachusetts.
What exactly is the significance of July 1?
July 1 marks the earliest possible day that licensed businesses can legally sell recreational marijuana to adults over 21. Under the voter-approved legalization ballot measure, sales were originally slated to begin on January 1, but lawmakers decided to push back the date six months to allow the state more time to work out the nuances of regulating the new industry.
The new July 1 date is tied to April 1, which was when the Cannabis Control Commission could begin accepting and reviewing license applicants. [Read more at Boston Globe]