Massachusetts voters legalized adult use of marijuana and a retail market to supply those consumers in 2016. The rollout has been slow and COVID-19 didn't help.

Bask in Fairhaven expanded operations this weekend. First to market is important in business. Fairhaven is now the first to market for legal marijuana sells to adults for casual use in the greater New Bedford area.

This Bask location in Fairhaven was the first and only option for medical marijuana in the area for years. When the law was changed in 2016, Bask and the Town of Fairhaven worked together to expand the operation into a retail operation for all lawful consumers.

The biggest problem with retail cannabis stores has been traffic congestion. The limited number of stores in Massachusetts and the massive number of enthusiastic consumers have caused serious traffic problems for local residents when the stores open.

Bask and the Town of Fairhaven worked together to manage traffic. Former Fairhaven Police Chief Gary Souza handles security for the store and he worked with the Fairhaven Police Department on a successful traffic solution.

Cities and towns with licensed retail stores for cannabis sales to adults get a share of the revenue from every transaction. The City of Fall River received over a million dollars in revenue from the sale of cannabis. Only stores in Wareham and Fall River were available in the area for legal marijuana until this past weekend. Now Fairhaven will share in the revenue and the revenue will be tremendous.

Fairhaven and Bask deserve credit for getting to market without any problems before any other operation in the Greater New Bedford area. The revenue to the town will be tremendous during this near-monopoly period of time.

Hopefully, others will learn from this successful process.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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