LEICESTER, Mass. (WHDH/AP) — The first two recreational marijuana stores in Massachusetts will be opening at the same exact time this week.

A spokeswoman for Cultivate in Leicester said Saturday the store planned to move up its regular 10 a.m. start time to 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

New England Treatment Access in Northampton will also begin selling to recreational customers at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

“We’re stepping into a new age,” Director of Diversity Programs and Marketing Specialist Kim Napoli said. “We’re honored to be a part of it here at NETA.”

Both stores received final regulatory approval Friday from the state Cannabis Control Commission to open next week. They will be the first commercial marijuana stores to operate in the eastern U.S.

The openings will come more than two full years after Massachusetts voters authorized legal recreational marijuana. Retail sales were originally slated to begin on July 1 but regulatory approvals were delayed.

A spokesperson for the 2016 ballot initiative, James Borghesani, told 7News that despite these delays, this remains a historic moment for the Bay State.

“We can rightfully squawk about state delays and problematic local opposition, but the fact remains that we’re the first state east of the Mississippi to offer legal, tested cannabis to adult consumers in safe retail settings,” he said. “This is a historic distinction for Massachusetts.”

Customers must show government-issued identification to enter the stores.

Long lines are expected.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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