Just in time to commemorate the birth of our nation, the state which was home to many American revolutionaries is having another Boston Tea Party. [Editor’s note: readers won’t get that dumb joke unless they know that hippies used to call marijuana “tea” back in the day].
On Monday, the state of Massachusetts has agreed to give out its first license for recreational cannabis sales, as reported by Leafly. The lucky recipient will be Cultivate Holdings in the small city of Leicester, about an hour west of Boston. The company already grows, processes, and distributes medical marijuana from the same location.
The approval came from a unanimous vote in the state’s Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), but it won’t actually result in a license until a few I’s and T’s are dotted and crossed; the state requires background checks on employees and a thorough inspection of the premises.
As is becoming par for the course in new legal cannabis markets, Massachusetts’s program is not going off without a hitch. The state had only issued one cannabis cultivation license as of the end of last month, and has only just begun to issue licenses for manufacturing and transportation this week. This despite the fact that the state’s goal date for opening up the market was July 1.
Another hurdle for the region’s cannabis industry is testing sites. Leafly suggests that no cannabis-testing laboratory has even submitted a complete license application as of yet. Since cannabis products can’t go on the market until they’ve gone through a licensed lab, this could create a shortage in Massachusetts similar to the one California is currently experiencing.
CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman assured the public in an interview with WBUR Radio Boston that at least three labs currently in the MMJ sector will apply for recreational licenses “very quickly” and are “pretty much ready to go.”
In a recent report, the Boston Globe wrote that recreational cannabis sales are still “likely weeks away” for the state.
Photo via Flickr user lgh75