Countdown to cannabis

When recreational sales begin this summer, they will be the first to be regulated east of the Mississippi River. Local shoppers are expected to propel a business that grew to $6.7 billion in 2016 in North America and is likely to top $20 billion in revenue by 2021, as decades of resistance fall away.

And so it begins. Somewhere out in growland, the clone of a cannabis mother plant — coddled like a Renoir under dialed-in light — is pushing out roots. Before winter is up, it will produce flowers to be sold at a Berkshire retail outlet this July.

More than a year after state voters approved adult recreational marijuana use, 107 pages of draft regulations are in hand. After having those tentative rules batted around at public hearings over the next two months, starting in Pittsfield Feb. 5, the Cannabis Control Commission must firm up state law

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