Massachusetts awards first recreational marijuana cultivation license

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Massachusetts regulators announced the first cultivation license for the upcoming recreational marijuana program.

Sira Naturals, a Milford-based company, received approval from the Cannabis Control Commission for a Tier 3 cultivation license, which will allow the company 10,000-20,000 of square feet of indoor grow space.

The company has been cultivating medical marijuana in Milford since 2016.

Sira Naturals is vertically integrated and operates a cultivation and product manufacturing facility as well as three MMJ retail dispensaries in Cambridge, Somerville and Needham.

The unanimous vote from the five-member commission Thursday comes more than 18 months after voters approved a ballot question legalizing adult use of marijuana, according to The Boston Globe.

Even with the first rec cultivation license, it’s not likely Massachusetts will meet its July 1 target to begin adult-use sales.

For one, the state has yet to issue any retail licenses.

The panel’s chair, Steven Hoffman, said he expects licensing approvals to pick up in the coming weeks, but he has made no firm predictions for when the first retail facilities will actually open.

Regulators and industry officials cite a variety of reasons for the slower-than-anticipated rollout, including the need to acquire necessary zoning approvals and other permits from host communities and to complete background checks on applicants.

Massachusetts regulators, Hoffman has said, want to do things right and not repeat mistakes made in other legal recreational states that moved too hastily in opening up the commercial market.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily