As state lawmakers in Albany engage in heated debate over legalizing marijuana, the drug is already for sale just across the state border in Massachusetts.
NewsChannel 9 made the trip to Theory Wellness in Great Barrington, a pot shop where people line up to light up.
CEO Brandon Pollock grew up in Downstate New York, before becoming part of the pot business in California and then opening a medical marijuana company in Massachusetts, just in time to expand into the recreational business when voters approved its legalization in 2016.
After years of waiting for the state to develop its regulations, Theory Wellness opened its recreational dispensary in January. It was only one of eight recreational dispensaries in the northeast.
Theory Wellness has to follow state regulations, so it has a high level of security at both at its recreational dispensary in Great Barrington and its growing facility near Boston.
Every morning, people line up outside, waiting for the doors to open at 10 a.m. Each person’s ID is checked several times, as people only 21 or older can buy the drug.
At each visit, each customer is only allowed a total of one ounce of marijuana products. It can be a combination of pot intended to be ground and smoked, pre-rolled blunts, edibles or vaping oils.
The people behind the counters are creatively named “budtenders,” and give each customer a menu of varieties and flavors like Orange Bubblegum, Mimosa and Dosido.