Massachusetts gives final OK to first two recreational cannabis shops

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Massachusetts regulators issued final licenses to two recreational marijuana shop operators, a move that puts the state closer to a much-delayed program launch.

The Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday voted to issue the licenses to:

  • Cultivate Holdings in Leicester.
  • New England Treatment Access in Northampton.

Both companies operate medical marijuana dispensaries in those municipalities and had earlier been granted provisional licenses by the commission to sell recreational marijuana.

It will likely be a few more weeks before either shop can open, as there are several procedural steps that must still occur before regulators give permission to begin operations.

Massachusetts voters legalized recreational marijuana for adults in November 2016, but nearly two years later, there is still no place in the state to legally purchase the products. The program was targeted to launch July 1.

Marijuana Business Factbook 2018 projected that rec MJ sales could reach $150 million-$250 million this year, although the figures likely will be lower because of the late start.

In late August, regulators approved two labs to test recreational marijuana, another critical step to launching the program.

– Associated Press