By STEVEN SENNE and BOB SALSBERG Associated Press
LEICESTER, Mass. (AP) – More than two years after voters in Massachusetts approved of recreational marijuana for adults, there are finally places to buy it legally.
The state’s first commercial pot shops opened Tuesday in Leicester and Northampton. The stores are the first to operate on the East Coast of the U.S., and there were long lines at both locations.
The first customer at Cultivate was a veteran who suffered injuries in an accident in 2004. After 10 years and trying 57 medications, Stephen Mandile says he tried to take his own life. He says he lives with pain and racing thoughts every single day.
“When I consume cannibis, it’s like putting on headphones. I can hear one song, I can focus, I can finish a thought,” Mandile told WBZ in Boston.
Items for sale will include various strains of marijuana flower, pre-rolled joints and edibles such as brownies and chocolate bars.
Cannabis is sold legally in six Western states.
The rollout of legal pot sales has been slow in Massachusetts, with regulators saying they wanted to make sure it was done safely and without some of the supply issues other states have faced.
Several more stores could open in the coming months.
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