On the morning Connecticut legalized the use of recreational marijuana, nearly half the cars in the parking lot of INSA Downtown in Springfield bore light-blue “Constitution State” license plates. The massive dispensary on West Columbus Avenue, which opened on June 1, is just about 7 miles from the Connecticut state line.

As of Thursday, Connecticut residents 21 and older are allowed to openly possess 1.5 ounces of marijuana and an additional 5 ounces of marijuana in a locked container. Recreational marijuana dispensaries will not become legal in Connecticut until late 2022.

But residents can hop the border to a state where recreational dispensaries are legal, like Massachusetts, where the first stores opened in November 2018. The state has clusters of stores in the western part of the state, including greater Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Easthampton, easily accessible by I-91. In the central part of the state, along the I-84 corridor, there are dispensaries in Charlton, Southbridge and Sturbridge.

INSA has two other stores, including an adult-use dispensary in Easthampton and a medical-only shop on Cottage Street in Springfield. Its newest location is uniquely positioned to service Connecticut customers, as its downtown store is

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