Massachusetts' marijuana officials have awarded the state's first-ever recreational retail license to a Leicester-based medical marijuana shop.
The Cannabis Control Commission's decision to pick Cultivate came on Monday, after the July 1 target date for marijuana stores to start legally selling recreational pot passed without a single business having the required retail license.
President Sam Barber, said he's hopeful Cultivate can begin selling marijuana to customers in the next few weeks.
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"A few more details that the CCC is working/ironing out but I feel like we are getting a lot closer," he said.
A variety of administrative hurdles prevented recreational sales on July 1.
State law requires all recreational marijuana to be tested by an independent laboratory before it is sold, but not a single laboratory has the required recreational testing license.
Officials with the Cannabis Control Commission said progress is being made.
"We’re making this thing work and it's going to work out in a way that's going to work for the state, work for its citizens, be good for health and safety and we’re making progress," said Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman.
Gov. Charlie Baker says he knows many expected they would be able to buy marijuana this month but due to the regulatory and inventory issues, officials do not want to rush the complicated process.
"It's very clear that you only get one shot to roll this out and it's very hard to change if you don't do what you think you should have done the first time based on the experience on the ground," Baker said.
The Cannabis Control Commission also approved provisional marijuana manufacturing and transportation licenses for Milford-based Sira Naturals on Monday.
According to State House News, the license will allow the company to begin transporting its wholesale sold marijuana to other licensed marijuana businesses. Both manufacturing and transportation licenses are conditional — pending inspection and background checks by the Cannabis Control Commission.
So far, 31 companies have applied for a recreational pot license.
The Cannabis Control Commission will meet again on July 12.