Consumers spent $440,000 on marijuana products in Massachusetts on first day of recreational sales
The smoke has cleared, and the numbers are in.
On Tuesday, the first day of legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts, consumers spent a total of $440,011 at two stores on more than 10,700 individual cannabis products, according to data released by the state Cannabis Control Commission Wednesday afternoon.
The products, purchased at the first two stores to open, ranged from marijuana flower to pot concentrates to pre-rolled joints to edibles infused with THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
The state will take a 17 percent cut — through a combination of the regular 6.25 percent sales tax and a 10.75 percent excise tax on marijuana — which for the first day of sales amounts to about $74,800.
The communities of Leicester and Northampton, where the first two marijuana shops in the state opened Tuesday, each impose a 3 percent local tax on cannabis sales within their borders. The commission declined to provide more detailed data showing the revenue at each shop, so it was not immediately clear how much each municipality earned Tuesday.
New England Treatment Access, or NETA, the store in Northampton, previously said it had served about 2,000 customers Tuesday, while Cultivate in Leicester said about half that number showed up. Both stores are closed on Thanksgiving but will reopen Friday.
“We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response during the first two days of sales,” said Sam Barber, the president of Cultivate. “This is an enormously gratifying moment for the whole Cultivate team to finally get to sell the products we have obsessed over creating for the past two years.”
Norton Arbelaez, NETA’s director of government affairs, said Tuesday was a “very, very successful first day” — in terms of both sales totals and the smooth functioning of various software systems and company protocols.
“There was a little bit of magic in the air yesterday,” he said. “We still have lines today, but we’re moving people through about 20 percent faster. It’s really pleasing to see all the preparations we’ve done over the past two years come to fruition.”
Arbelaez added that he expects high demand to continue, as consumers from Massachusetts and other nearby states flock to his shop.
“This is obviously very important and historic for Massachusetts, but there are also huge regional implications, given the population density of New England and the Eastern Seaboard,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of IDs from Connecticut, New York, Vermont, even Pennsylvania. So I think it will continue to be busy.”
The stores opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday, more than two years after voters approved a ballot measure legalizing the drug and establishing a system of regulated sales. Massachusetts is the first state east of the Mississippi River to launch a regulated recreational pot market.
Hundreds of customers gathered in long lines at both shops Tuesday and Wednesday, waiting more than three hours in some cases for the chance to be among the first to buy cannabis legally. NETA and Cultivate each said it had sold out of certain products, but still had inventory remaining as of Wednesday afternoon.