Recreational pot sales may start this month in Massachusetts … – Hartford Courant

The approval of two independent testing labs in Massachusetts this week heralds the start of recreational pot sales to the north, no later than Thanksgiving, one dispensary says.

“This isn’t going to get into next month,” says Norton Arbalaez, director of government affairs for New England Treatment Access, which has been planning to sell adult-use marijuana in Northampton, Mass., for more than two years. “We’re right at the precipice of this.”

July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other day since December 15,…

Residents of Massachusetts and in its neighbors across New England have long awaited the first legal sales of recreational marijuana — something that gained traction in Connecticut this week with the election of Democrat Ned Lamont as governor. Lamont strongly favors legalization of recreational marijuana.

Massachusetts decided in December 2016 to make growing, possessing and using marijuana legal, but the budding industry slowed to a crawl as companies worked through the complex regulatory program and sought approvals from town governments. Now, Arbalaez says the wait is in its final days.

That’s in part because the Massachusetts body that regulates marijuana, the Cannabis Control Commission, gave authorization Wednesday for the first two independent laboratories to begin testing non-medical marijuana.

MCR Labs in Framingham and CDX Analytics in Salem had to pass inspections, fingerprint lab agents and join Metrc, the state’s seed-to-sale tracking and verification system. They can begin testing recreational marijuana and marijuana products as early as Saturday, according to the CCC.

“That is certainly one of the final pieces of the

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