BOSTON — A medical marijuana dispensary that has operated in the Central Massachusetts town of Leicester since late last year on Monday became the first business licensed to sell non-medical marijuana in Massachusetts.
The license approved Monday is conditional upon additional background checks and facility inspections, and the company has said it will be ready to open as soon as regulators issue a final license.
The Cannabis Control Commission voted unanimously to license Cultivate Holdings, Inc. to operate as a retail marijuana shop.
Cultivate already grows, processes and sells marijuana to medical program patients at its 23,000-square-foot facility in a former tool and die shop on Main Street in Leicester.
The company has also applied to grow non-medical marijuana and manufacture non-medical marijuana products. Those applications are among about 60 that remain pending before the CCC.
Lawmakers and the CCC had adopted July 1 as the target date for the start of retail marijuana sales, though the state’s new marijuana law did not establish a firm launch date.
Even though the CCC has licensed a retail shop, it cannot sell non-medical marijuana until it is tested and approved by an independent lab. So far, no labs have submitted a complete license application to the CCC, so that critical piece of the supply chain remains missing.
On WBUR’s Radio Boston on Wednesday, CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said that he expects at least three testing labs currently working with the medical marijuana program to apply for licenses from the CCC “very quickly” and that “they’re pretty much ready to go” once they are approved for licensure.
Also Monday, the CCC approved licenses for Milford-based Sira Naturals to manufacture marijuana-infused products and to transport marijuana. Sira became the first company licensed by the CCC last month, when regulators gave Sira the OK to grow up to 20,000 square feet of marijuana in Milford.
By: Colin A. Young