The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission granted the state’s first marijuana business license, allowing Sira Naturals, Inc. to move ahead with cultivation at its existing Milford facility.
Sira Naturals, which currently uses the facility for medical marijuana, was granted a provisional license through a unanimous vote of the five-member commission on Thursday.
The company was quick to note in a press release that it’s the first to receive a marijuana business license on the US eastern seaboard.
Shawn Collins, the commission’s executive director, said the company plans to have the Milford facility fully operational – 20,000 square feet — on the recreational marijuana side within four months.
The facility currently has 10,000 square feet for growing medical marijuana. The company says it has enough inventory to ensure medical marijuana patient demand is always fulfilled and any excess can be shifted to the recreational market.
The facility’s hours of operation will be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to Collins.
The company provided the commission, the state agency tasked with overseeing the new marijuana industry, with a security plan, inventory and quality control procedures, as well as record-keeping procedures.
The commission will grant the final license to Sira Naturals after staffers inspect the facility to ensure they’re meeting their goals and procedures, Collins said.
“This historic milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our exceptional team and to the countless cannabis industry stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth whose passion to legalize cannabis made this dream a reality,” Sira Naturals CEO Michael Dundas said in a statement.
“This is an exciting first step on the path toward making our premium cannabis products available to a wider audience than ever before,” he added.
The company, which first started in 2013, has also applied for research and transportation licenses, but Thursday’s vote was limited to the granting of the provisional cultivation-only license.
While Sira Naturals has medical marijuana dispensaries in Somerville, Cambridge and Needham, it has not yet applied for a license to sell recreational marijuana at those locations.
The commission has not approved any applications for retail pot shops, meaning that legal sales of recreational marijuana are still a ways off.
Companies seeking to open retail pot shops must not only receive approval from the Cannabis Control Commission, but they also go through the local approval process at the city or town level.
Massachusetts voters in November 2016 approved a ballot question broadly legalizing recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older.
By: Gintautas Dumcius, MassLive