Northampton Marijuana Industry Is Just Getting Started

Dec 2, 2018

Northampton, Massachusetts, is home to one of the first two recreational marijuana stores open in the state. But that could be just the beginning of the pot industry's presence in the city.

The store in Northampton and one in Leicester reported more than $2 million in combined sales in their first five days of operation.

More than 100 Massachusetts cities and towns have voted to ban pot stores.

But Northampton has gone in the opposite direction, signing agreements with five other companies that want to open marijuana shops.

Mayor David Narkewicz said he thinks recreational marijuana will be a draw for visitors.

"I think it will be part of the overall economics in terms of retail, entertainment, restaurants, arts and culture that make Northampton unique," he said.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz makes the first purchase at NETA from co-owner Arnon Vered on November, 20, 2018.
Credit Alden Bourne / NEPR

Narkewicz said he's tried to treat the recreational marijuana industry like any other legitimate business. 

"The market will really decide how many retailers or manufacturers end up locating in the city," he said. 

The city gets six percent of revenues generated by the stores at least for the first five years they're open. Then it goes to three percent.

Neighboring Easthampton is also looking for a piece of the action. INSA, Inc. has received a final license from the state's Cannabis Control Commission for a proposed store there. It's expected to open soon.