Massachusetts recreational cannabis program lacking licensed testing labs

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Massachusetts is clearly not going to be ready to sell recreational marijuana by its July 1 target date, evident by a lack of completed applications for testing laboratories, among other setbacks.

Under state law, recreational marijuana must be tested by an independent lab before it can be sold in stores, according to, and it could be weeks if not months before a testing facility is approved.

The state had set an initial target of the beginning of July to license labs but so far has issued only one provisional permit – for a cultivation facility in Milford.

Here’s what you need to know about Massachusetts’ licensing situation:

  • No retail stores have been licensed, and although the state’s Cannabis Control Commission has prioritized processing applications for laboratories to test adult-use marijuana, no completed application for a testing lab has been submitted.
  • One independent lab has begun the application process, according to State House News Service.
  • As of Tuesday, 61 completed applications were under review for cannabis business licenses, the bulk of which are for retail stores, cultivation facilities or product manufacturers.
  • The state will not consider additional licenses until July 2 and will prioritize processing applications for testing labs submitted by Aug. 1.
  • The state also requires medical marijuana to be tested, so independent cannabis labs are already operating for the MMJ program. But they must go through the application process again to receive a permit to test recreational marijuana.