The First Two Legal Marijuana Customers in Mass. Have Been Picked

Two veterans, including Northampton's mayor, will make the state's first purchases.

New England Treatment Access medical marijuana dispensary, in Northampton, Mass | photo via AP/Steven Senne

Two veterans, including the mayor of Northampton, will be the first customers in  Massachusetts’ new recreational marijuana marketplace after they were selected to make the first purchases—an historic moment for the legal pot movement.

Stephen Mandile, a 41-year-old Iraq veteran and Uxbridge resident, will be first in line at Cultivate, a dispensary in Leicester. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, an Air Force veteran, will make the inaugural transaction at New England Treatment Access in his city.

“I get to make history,” Mandile tells the Boston Globe, adding that he’s “pumped to break the stigma and the weird, scary aura people want to put around cannabis.” A longtime advocate for legalization, Mandile has spoken publicly about using marijuana to get off of opiates he was prescribed after sustaining serious injuries overseas, and has made it his mission to help other veterans do the same. Hoping to make his case to Gov. Charlie Baker himself, he once slept outside the State House.

Narkewicz tells the paper he’s attending the ribbon-cutting just as he would for any other business and hopes it serves as an economic boon for Northampton.

Both stores were given the final OK last week to begin selling on Tuesday, and both are scheduled to open at 8 a.m., when they will become the first legal adult-use pot shops on the East Coast.

In case you plan on heading out there, be prepared to wait in a long line. Both cities have been preparing for a huge influx of people hoping to be there for the big day and have made accommodations that include shuttle service.

You might also want to peruse their menus—which are pretty complicated and include buds, vaporizers, chocolate, candy, tinctures, and other products—ahead of time. Do you know what Moonshine Haze Sugar Wax is? There’s no time like the present to find out. Meanwhile, the CCC is urging newbies who want more information on what to expect to go to their new website,