Just in time for Thanksgiving, the first two cannabis retail stores will open in Massachusetts after voters passed legalization two years ago. Those that have participated in the regulated industry know that establishing and implementing rules and regulations at the state and local levels can be a long and winding road filled with ups and downs and many changes. It is great that the Bay State, which included a landmark social equity licensing program, will finally start providing options for consumers while creating jobs and generating revenue for the state.

The Associated Press reported that Massachusetts regulators provided the okay for two outlets last Friday, setting up sales starting this Tuesday:

The “commence operations” notice from regulators requires the stores to wait three days before opening so they can coordinate with local officials and law enforcement. The openings are expected to draw big crowds, based on the experiences of other legal U.S. states and Canada when they first launched recreational sales.

The Northampton store, operated by New England Treatment Access, said it would open for recreational sales at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Cultivate Holdings, which operates the Leicester store, said its doors would open at 10 a.m. the same day.

“This signal to open retail marijuana establishments marks a major milestone for voters who approved legal, adult-use cannabis in our state,” said Steven Hoffman, chairman of the cannabis panel, in a statement. “To get here, licensees underwent thorough background checks, passed multiple inspections and had their products tested, all to ensure public health and safety as this new industry gets up and running.”

Liam Martin noticed the interesting time that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission announced that the first stores would be opening on Tuesday-4:20pm. Marijuana Moment’s Tom Angell tweeted at Commissioner Shaleen Title seeking a comment, and Title humorously responded with a “smirking face” emoji.

Once Massachusetts stores are fully operational, the state’s industry is expected to expand to a $1.8 to $5 billion dollar industry rather quickly. Buoyed by the fact that Massachusetts will be the first state east of Colorado to open regulated cannabis retail stores, we can expect sales to be at a very brisk pace. Congratulations, Massachusetts!

To learn the latest about the cannabis industry and network with top investors, entrepreneurs, and advocates from around the globe, join us at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco this February 7-8. The event is expected to sell out, so purchase your early-bird tickets by January 18th. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to Barcelona, Spain, on March 14th, and then returning to Berlin, Germany, on March 31st-April 2nd. Stay tuned for more exciting cannabis-friendly destinations!