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Legal Adult Marijuana Sales Start in Massachusetts on Tuesday

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Legal adult marijuana sales will begin in Massachusetts on Tuesday, with retailers in Northampton and Leicester set to be the first to open. The state is the seventh in the U.S. to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.

Adults 21 and older will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from licensed marijuana retail dispensaries, of which no more than five grams can be in concentrate form, MPP reports. It will remain illegal to consume marijuana in public.

“Finally, adults will be able to purchase marijuana safely and legally in regulated, taxpaying businesses instead of resorting to the underground market,” MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich said. “Adults will simply stop at a licensed store, show their ID, pay, and be on their way. It won’t be long before the novelty wears off and it feels just like buying alcohol from a liquor store.”

Marijuana products sold for adult use will be subject to a 6.25% state sales tax and a 10.75% state excise tax, and municipal officials have the option of levying additional local taxes of up to 3%.

Voters in nine states, including Massachusetts, have enacted laws to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use, and similar legislation was approved by lawmakers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands and signed into law in September. Lawmakers in Vermont and voters in D.C. have adopted laws making marijuana possession and cultivation legal for adults, but not regulating commercial production or sales.

Regulated adult sales began in Colorado in January 2014; Washington in July 2014; Oregon in October 2015; Alaska in October 2016; Nevada in July 2017; and California in January 2018. In Maine, they are expected to begin in fall 2019. In Michigan, where the law was just adopted during the midterm election earlier this month, adult sales are expected to begin in 2020.