The First Recreational Cannabis Dispensary Has Finally Been Licensed In Massachusetts

You still can't buy legal cannabis in Massachusetts, but there will be at least one place to get it soon. 

After missing their July 1 launch date for recreational cannabis sales, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has issued a provisional license to the Leicester-based company Cultivate Holdings. But the approval is conditional and the tentative dispensary is still subject to further scrutiny before the full license will be issued. Cultivate President Sam Barber says he hopes his dispensary will be able to sell recreational cannabis "in the next few weeks."

Meanwhile, cannabis consumers throughout the state are hoping that more licenses will be issued in the coming weeks to provide the people of Massachusetts with widespread access to safe and legal cannabis, which was legalized for recreational consumption back in 2016. On Monday, the Cannabis Control Commission also licensed the first recreational cultivator—Sira Naturals—and several other businesses are waiting on cultivation approval as well.

While licensing of sales locations and cultivators seems to be moving forward, the Cannabis Control Commission has yet to approve any testing facilities. In the meantime, labs that are currently being used to test medical marijuana are being asked to fill this need, but many testing facilities are unhappy with those expectations. 

"We have been given no guidance as far as what is different between medical marijuana testing and recreational marijuana testing," said Christopher Hudalla, chief scientific officer of ProVerde Laboratories.

And while Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman has assured the public that "the lab part of this will be resolved in time," there's been no word on exactly how much time that will take.

Hopefully the rollout for legalization will go smoother in Massachusetts after getting through these bumps in the road.

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It’s no secret that my husband and I are longtime cannabis and hemp advocates. We’ve cheered as the majority of Americans have come around to supporting legalization, and applauded as cannabis law reform spreads from state to state. Still, decades of prohibitionist propaganda have left many in the dark about the powerful wellness potential of these long-demonized plants.

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