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What to expect as 1st pot shops in East finally open

FILE-- In this July 12, 2018 file photo, newly transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at Sira Naturals medical marijuana cultivation facility in Milford, Mass. New England Treatment Access of Northampton, Mass., and another store in Leicester, Mass., have been given the green light to begin selling recreational pot next week, making them the first commercial pot shops in the eastern United States. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

The long wait for recreational marijuana sales to begin in Massachusetts is almost over.

The first two commercial pot shops in the state — and anywhere in the eastern United States — are set to open in Northampton and Leicester (LEH’-stur) at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz will make the symbolic first purchase at New England Treatment Access.

Customers must show government-issued identification to enter the stores. They might also want to bring cash, as debit or credit card use may be restricted at least initially.

Long lines are expected.

State regulations limit total purchases by a single customer to 1 ounce of flower or its equivalent in concentrate. But stores are also likely to impose their own limits to help minimize supply shortages.

The tax on recreational marijuana is 20 per cent.

Bob Salsberg, The Associated Press