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Two years ago, Massachusetts voters approved recreational marijuana use for adults. Today marks the first commercial pot shops open for business – Leicester and Northampton. Mayor David Narkewicz was the ceremonial first customer at New England Treatment Access in Northampton, a small city in the western part of the states known for its eclectic mix of cultures.

Voters in Northampton approved recreational marijuana in 2016 by one of the most extensive margins of any community in the state, and officials welcomed the opening of the store, even as many other cities and towns decided against the legal marijuana businesses.

The rollout of legal marijuana has been slow in Massachusetts, with regulators saying they wanted to make sure it was done safely and without supply shortages that initially plagued other states. The two-shops received final clearance from regulators to open last Friday but were required to wait until today to coordinate traffic and other concerns.

The Cannabis Control Commission, the state’s regulatory board, was expected to approve the final licenses for two additional stores. Answers to the delay are not given but appear that the Boston area will be late to the party, where more than half of the state’s population resides. Marijuana is already sold legally in six Western countries, but the long-awaited opening of recreational marijuana outlets in Massachusetts marks a significant milestone for the industry in the U.S.

FJC Branding Company, the operating division of First Jersey Cannabis Corporation plans to introduce for the Massachusetts market two products within the next 12-months – Boston Stout and Gangster Jack. Boston Stout is low in alcohol and high in THC, with beautiful roundness and a touch of roastiness. The dry Stout is silky and well rounded, perfect for an evening of food and drink. Gangster Jack cigars will be hand rolled in Massachusetts as a medium-bodied, luxury-class blended with artesian marijuana, Honduran Jamastran and Panamanian long-fillers, Sumatra binder, and semi-sweet Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper cured to a dark, shimmering patina. The formula will produce an ultra-smooth and creamy smoke laced with spicy, marijuana notes to finish with a hint of sweetness on the palate.

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