Look for State's Legal Pot Rollout to Gather Steam in 2019

It took more than two years and several delays for Massachusetts to get from a successful 2016 referendum to the first legal recreational marijuana sales in the eastern United States. 

As 2019 approaches, the focus for the state's cannabis regulators is expected to gradually shift from getting the industry off the ground to expanding it geographically and perhaps into new frontiers, such as social consumption and scientific research into the public health impacts and medicinal benefits of marijuana.

The November launch of the state's first fully-licensed pot shops, in Northampton and Leicester, brought cheers from customers and long lines outside the stores, even if the openings came well after the original July 1 target date for marijuana sales to debut.

Three more retail stores, in Salem, Wareham and Easthampton, were also granted permission to open their doors in the final weeks of 2018.

Sales of recreational marijuana and related products totaled nearly $9.3 million through the week ending Dec. 16, according to the most recent figures provided by the commission.

A closer look at what to expect when it comes to legal marijuana in the coming year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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