Update on recreational sales of marijuana

By: Chris Edwards
June 22, 2018

The Cannabis Control Commission approved the first provisional adult-use cultivation license in Massachusetts yesterday. This is a milestone worth celebrating in the roll out of the program. Congratulations to Sira Naturals for receiving the first license. We expect that many more licenses will be granted over the coming months, but the honest truth is that recreational sales in Massachusetts will not begin on July 1 as many people are expecting. Here's why:

  1. So far, none of the third-party testing labs have applied for licensure by the Cannabis Control Commission. The labs are working diligently to negotiate Host Community Agreements, conduct Community Outreach Hearings, and prepare their application materials now. Until at least one lab has been issued an adult-use marijuana testing license, no products can be tested as required by state regulations.
  2. The Cannabis Control Commission is in the process of interviewing and hiring a staff of inspectors now. They received a large number of applications for the open positions, which all need to be reviewed and processed. It will take some time to hire and train these inspectors. A final license cannot be granted to any provisional license holder until a final inspection has occurred.
  3. Under the Medical Use of Marijuana regulations, dispensaries are only allowed to admit registered patients, caregivers, employees, and government officials into their facilities. The medical regulations do not allow adults 21 and over to enter a dispensary, which is necessary in order to conduct adult-use sales. This is a regulatory conflict which needs to be addressed by the Cannabis Control Commission and the Department of Public Health. Until it is resolved, there is no way to commence adult-use sales.

At this time, our best guess is that retail sales of marijuana will be delayed until mid-to-late August. We will do our best to keep everyone informed as new information becomes available. Thank you for your continued understanding and support!