Chocolate Industry

Massachusetts’ first legal marijuana purchase, a chocolate bar, has never been opened – now it’s in a museum

No one has ever tasted Massachusetts’ most famous chocolate bar. And now, no one probably ever will.

Just over three years ago, as the stopwatch read 8 a.m. on November 20, 2018, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz showed up at the New England Treatment Access dispensary counter, paying more than $ 24 $ and became the first person to legally buy marijuana. in Massachusetts.

Now, 20 days before the mayor’s departure, the 50 mg chocolate bar he bought from NETA will be immortalized at Historic Northampton, the town’s local history museum. Never eaten or opened.

The bar was instead enclosed in a custom-made plexiglass box and adorned with a plaque commemorating the memorable day for the state.

In 2016, Massachusetts voted to allow the recreational use of cannabis throughout the Commonwealth of Nations after four years of legal medical marijuana. But it will be more than two years before the Cannabis Control Commission clears NETA and Leicester’s Cultivate dispensary to open the state’s first cannabis retail stores.

The chocolate bar, actually containing over 54 mg of THC, contained 10 servings of squares of dark chocolate. After buying Narkewicz in 2018, he brought the bar to Rusty Wilkinson, a Northampton resident who owns Award 1 Engraving in Southampton.

In nearly 20 years in the business, Wilkinson had never been asked to wrap a weed chocolate bar before. But many of the rewards he has created are unique or niche. He told the mayor, “Bring it, I’ll see what I can do. “

“Anytime I’m asked to do something that requires my expertise or my skills, I find it an honor,” said Wilkinson. “In particular, to be invited by the mayor to do something as unusual as this was an honor and a challenge.”

The purchase by Narkewicz, who is stepping down on January 3, was one of many trips he made to Northampton dispensaries when they first opened. While NETA led the way as the city and state’s first open-ended recreational cannabis retailer, Northampton has since added more than half a dozen more. Almost all of them are crammed into a three mile stretch in the heart of the city.

The first legal recreational sale of marijuana took place on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at the NETA dispensary in Northampton. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz is pictured after making the first purchase. (Don Treeger / The Republican)

With each ribbon cut, the mayor welcomed the marijuana businesses to the community with a ceremonial first purchase.

“The voters have spoken. Northampton voters have spoken. I felt like part of my role was to help normalize this legal industry, ”Narkewicz said. “If I’m going to the opening of a craft brewery or clothing store, why don’t I go to the opening of this completely legal new business?” “

On November 18, when the newest dispensary opened in Northampton, Narkewicz responded to community members who asked him why the city needed eight dispensaries. “I always like to remind them that we have 17 licensed liquor stores in Northampton and no one has ever asked me, ‘Don’t you think we have too many liquor stores? Can the market support 17 liquor stores? ‘ “, did he declare.

For Narkewicz, an official described with admiration by his colleagues as a “boy scout,” being known as the first person to legally buy marijuana has become a common joke in the community.

At a thanksgiving celebration for Narkewicz at the Northampton Hotel on December 8, just weeks before he left office, William Dwight, a longtime city councilor, joked that he hoped that when he and Narkewicz would quit public life, they could join forces to open “Dave’s Weed Cabin and Bill’s Wicked Woke.”

The remark made the crowd of 200 laugh, including city and state officials, business figures, prominent members of the community and their families. But that was quickly followed by another quip from former Mayor Mary Clare Higgins.

“David was not the first white man to be mayor. He was not the first Pole to be mayor, ”said Higgins. “But he was the first pothead. And we are proud of him for that.

Associated content: