Almost two years after Massachusetts legalized marijuana, the government announced that weed will be available July 1st. However, this date is optimistic: the Cannabis Control Commission has yet to issue recreational licenses. But this just means that you have more time to get excited about legal weed, and even better: delicious edibles. Here’s a look at what to eat and where to buy it in Massachusetts.
Recreational Marijuana: Delayed Again?
Legalization has been a long time coming in this liberal stronghold. In short, Governor Charlie Baker and state lawmakers took a long time to establish a legalization timeline, which caused the initial delay.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission says that the first wave of recreational dispensaries will open on July 1st. But since the licensing process only began this June, many in the industry are predicting a later opening date. July 1st will probably not be the blowout weed party everyone expected.
Who Will Be Selling Edibles?
Since Massachusetts hasn’t legalized delivery, you’ll have to check out the edible selection at dispensaries. Lucky for you, dozens have already applied for licenses since the CCC began accepting them on June 1st. The Cannabis Control Commission has yet to make any final decisions, though.
There will be old and new dispensaries to choose from after July. However, your best bet for getting an edible as soon as humanly possible is a preexisting medical dispensary. They already have the capabilities and have been planning for recreational weed for some time.
The Edibles Market Is Booming
When a state first legalizes weed, flower is overwhelmingly the most popular purchase. As people learn more about edibles, vapes, concentrates, oils… other markets start taking up a larger piece of the pie.
Edibles are a hot category right now. Forbes estimates that edibles will grow to a quarter of the market in western states. This doesn’t seem far-fetched considering that they’re the third most popular cannabis product in California, Oregon and Washington according to BDS Analytics.
Between January and February of this year alone, Californians went from buying $24.46 million to $34.4 million in edibles according to Cannabis Business Executive.
Looking West, Massachusetts is bracing itself for an edible boom, too. Luckily, with a solid medical marijuana program, and two years to prepare for rec users, MA will have lots of options for edibles.
What Will—and Won’t—Be Legal
Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission has set a limit of 5 mg THC per serving. This is lower than California and Colorado’s 10 mg, so you might have to eat a few more gummies. However, one edible package can still hold 100 mg THC total, which is 20 doses.
Of course, those with a medical marijuana card have access to products that range from 2 to 100 mg of THC per serving. Medical marijuana patients can buy edibles at cost, but recreational users have to pay a 20 percent tax.
New England Treatment Access (NETA), located in Northhampton and Brookline, makes all its edibles in-house. Eddie Benjamin, Director of Innovation, explained to Green Rush Daily that they plan to release a Belgian dark chocolate bar, caramels, lozenges and two types of fruit chews for adult use.
All their products are made with marijuana distillate. “For adult use, we are using the distillate, which is incredibly high purity and incredibly high potency,” Benjamin explained. “We can use a very little amount of what is essentially tasteless oil and bring out the natural flavors of the chocolates or the other ingredients.”
Ermont, an innovative Quincy-based marijuana dispensary, also makes a variety of infused deserts. These range from granola bars to oreo cookie pie to ginger molasses cookies. They also specialize in liquid edibles, in the forms of honey, maple syrup, peanut butter and other spreads.
The Emerging Market of Savory Edibles
For those with less of a sweet tooth or with specific dietary needs, there are more and more options. Ermont also makes THC-infused olive oil, coconut old and tomato sauce, perfect for a homemade infused dinner.
They’ve also grabbed big headlines for releasing a limited edition infused pizza last year. Though their menu is subject to change daily, rec users can look forward to THC-infused savory dishes and cooking ingredients.
NETA also caters to those with dietary restrictions, specifically with their infused grapeseed oil. “We got a lot of requests from our medical patients from folks who wanted a soy free option or a dairy-free option or a gluten-free option,” Benjamin told us. So they came out with the Elevation Oil, which comes fully decarboxylated.
Since you don’t have to heat the oil to activate the cannabinoids in it, you can take Elevation Oil as a tincture or use in a salad dressing.
West Coast Favorites Are Moving East
Sira Naturals, located in Cambridge, Needham and Somerville already sells Zoots cannabis products like their gluten-free brownie bites and cinnamon. Sira Naturals says that they’ll start selling to recreational users in September.
Though they haven’t finalized their recreational product list, more Zoots products, like their best-selling ZootsRocks, will probably be moving east. This could include a Zootblast, a 5-Hour Energy-like caffeine infusion with THC.
Massachusetts Edibles: A Growing Industry
Considering the overhead necessary to open up shop, the best options for recreational users will be medical dispensaries that already have a vast array of edibles. New products will comply with the THC limits set by the Cannabis Control Commission.
One of the few upsides to Massachusetts’s legalization delay is that companies have had a lot of time to refine their edible recipes. “We have been developing our adult use product line for some time now,” explained Benjamin.