First day of recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts rakes in more than $400,000

Photo: Boston 25 news

BOSTON — The first day of recreational marijuana sales raked in more than $400,000 for the two businesses that were first to get the green light.

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As prospective adult pot shops across the state wait for their piece of the action, marijuana entrepreneurs in Boston now fear their moment man never come.

"It is a long shot for me and everyone else out there," Jonathan Napoli, owner of The Boston Gardener and The Hempest, said.

Napoli was at the front of the line eager to take, but seeing the turnout elsewhere on the first day of history turned out to be a bit of a tease.

In total, 10,784 units were sold, netting $440,011.

"The obstacles are insurmountable in some cases," Napoli said.

Napoli was cautiously optimistic that he'll be one of the few to get the green light to recreationally sell green in Boston.

“It’s going to require some luck and some skill," Napoli said. "But it’s going to be a long shot for a lot of people."

Rules approved by city zoning, banning cannabis businesses from clustering within a half mile of each other, are making Napoli worried that hopes and dreams of the wide majority within Boston city limits could be crushed.

The city has yet to spell out its criteria for selecting applicants, or how many applicants are overlapped in conflict.


"Right there, you just eliminated 80 percent of Boston or more," Napoli said.

Some prime areas are already off limits, due to already-approved medical marijuana dispensaries like the Patriot Care dispensary, which rules out competitors in much of downtown and Beacon Hill.

“What it creates, let’s say if I got a store here, then all of a sudden, I have a monopoly," Napoli said. "I have a half mile. I can almost lock down a whole neighborhood in Boston"

Boston zoning regulations also ban prospective pot shops from opening shop within 500 feet of a kindergarten, elementary or secondary school, which provides another obstacle creating a curveball and causing confusion.

"Here in Dudley Square, we have a school right here, but they're right across from a strip club," Napoli said. "They're in the same building as a liquor store. It's like moving on quick sand, it's constantly changing."