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With Cannabis Now Legal In Connecticut, Massachusetts Pot Stores Expect Sales Bump

Massachusetts marijuana stores are expecting an uptick in business, now that it's legal to possess in Connecticut.

People age 21 and over in Connecticut are allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of pot, or 5 ounces in a locked box at home, a locked glovebox or in the trunk of a car.

But recreational cannabis stores there aren't expected to open at least until late next year. And it's illegal to personally grow it until 2023 in Connecticut, unless you're a medical marijuana patient. 

Jacob Black, manager at Holyoke Cannabis in Holyoke, Massachusetts, said he already sees a lot of Connecticut license plates in his store's parking lot, but now he expects even more.

"We definitely anticipate quite the influx of business," Black said. "And I'm glad that more and more states are starting to go legal. So it removes some of the stigma surrounding cannabis and some of those fears that people do have."

Theory Wellness sells cannabis in Chicopee and Great Barrington, Massachusetts. CEO Brandon Pollack said as many as half of his customers already come from out of state. Now he expects more customers from Connecticut.

"I'm sure there's still some folks that have had reservations about purchasing and consuming cannabis in Connecticut when it was still illegal unless you had a medical card," Pollock said.  "So I think this should allow more people to feel comfortable using a product like cannabis."

Pollock said if a customer mentions they'll be leaving Massachusetts with their purchase, store employees will advise them not to. It's against federal law to drive marijuana across state lines — even to states where it's legal.

Nancy Eve Cohen is a senior reporter focusing on Berkshire County. Earlier in her career she was NPR’s Midwest editor in Washington, D.C., managing editor of the Northeast Environmental Hub and recorded sound for TV networks on global assignments, including the war in Sarajevo and an interview with Fidel Castro.
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