Students react to the sale of recreational marijuana in Northampton

‘I think it’s a good thing, coming from a fan of legalizing marijuana’

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(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Will Mallas, Assistant News Editor

As New England Treatment Access begins to sell recreational marijuana to patrons of the Pioneer Valley, students at the University of Massachusetts are noticing the reaction to the company’s new business venture.

NETA, located at 118 Conz St. in Northampton, is one of two dispensaries currently selling recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, with the other being Cultivate in Leicester.

“I think it will definitely be a good thing. I was always a fan of legalizing marijuana,” said Dina Delkouras, a freshman biochemistry and molecular biology major at UMass. “I think it will probably be a similar situation to alcohol, nothing will really change too much.”

UMass freshman political science and economics double major Collin Drill felt a similar sentiment toward the selling of cannabis for recreational use.

“I think it’s a good thing, coming from a fan of legalizing marijuana. It has a lot of uses, medical or otherwise, so I think it’s good.”

NETA has seen significant business since opening on Nov. 20, when the store had a long line of customers eager to be some of the first in Massachusetts to purchase marijuana for recreational use.

NETA also offers medicinal marijuana. According to its website, “NETA is a passionate group of patient advocates, experienced professionals, industry leaders and philanthropists. We have come together to improve the quality of patients’ lives through [personalized] care and the best in the art of science and medical marijuana.”

NETA also has a location in Brookline that currently only sells medicinal cannabis.

In reaction to the selling of recreational marijuana in Northampton, senior resource economics major David LeBlanc was interested in the potential economic developments and consequences the shop will bring.

He said, “I think [the selling of recreational marijuana in Northampton] will be interesting for the economy in general.”

To Leblanc, having only two stores open in Western Massachusetts may lead to a local monopoly in the industry. He said, “they’re not allowing anyone else to compete.”

According to a Boston Globe article, stores in Wareham, Salem and Easthampton have received final licenses and may open “within the next month or so” once they have received a final inspection from the state Cannabis Control Commission. The Boston Globe also noted “it will probably be months before the first shop opens” in Boston.

RISE Amherst, currently the only medical marijuana dispensary in Amherst, is looking to expand into recreational sales in the near future.

Leblanc added, “It will be really interesting to see how this new market develops as it becomes more mainstream.”

Will Mallas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @willmallas.