Grow, Gift, Repair

Recreational Marijuana Shops Reopen For Business In Mass. — With Restrictions

Pot shops are once again open for business in Massachusetts — with some limited operations and new guidelines. Under the state’s reopening plan, recreational marijuana stores are now allowed to take online and phone orders to offer curbside pickup to customers.

“We’re just excited,” said Kobie Evans, co-owner of Pure Oasis in Dorchester. “We’re looking forward to seeing our staff and our customers, and really want to make sure that people are safe and staying healthy and, you know, just looking forward to this new opportunity to be open after being closed for so long.” Pure Oasis — the first pot shop in Boston — was forced to shut down under a state order after being open for just two weeks. Evans said he plans to start offering curbside pickup Monday.

Many in the cannabis industry had hoped adult-use sales would be able to resume much sooner since medical marijuana establishments were allowed to operate throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But unlike other states, Massachusetts deemed recreational pot shops “non-essential,” and they had to close down. Gov. Charlie Baker previously maintained that recreational marijuana would attract people from out of state, and he didn’t want to reopen them. Some pot shops even sued the governor, but lost their bid.

The adult-use industry has generated $120 million in revenue and grown to more than 8,000 jobs since sales began in 2018, according to CDA, which represents 80% of the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industry.

Pot shops won’t be able to open for in-store sales until phase two of the governor’s reopening plan. It’s unclear when that will begin, but phase one is expected to last at least until June 8 — though that could be extended depending on some key health metrics the state is monitoring. When pot shops are able to welcome customers in their stores again, they’ll have capacity limits and other restrictions meant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.