The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission will push the state’s adult-use cannabis market a few steps closer to reality at its July 26 afternoon meeting.
Still, though, there are no immediate plans to begin adult-use sales in Massachusetts. The anticipated July 1 start date has come and gone.
Seven license applications are on the table for approval at the July 26 meeting: three for Alternative Therapies Group (cultivation, retail and manufacturing) and four for New England Treatment Access (NETA) (cultivation, two retail locations and manufacturing).
So far, only one dispensary has been granted an adult-use retail license: Cultivate, located in Leicester, Mass.
Boston.com spoke with Sam Barber, the president of Cultivate, who—not once, but twice—insisted that he can’t predict when adult-use sales will begin in Massachusetts: “I don’t want to put a date on it,” he said, adding, later, “I can’t give you the date.”
The problem is that the Cannabis Control Commission has not yet granted a license to an independent testing lab. All adult-use cannabis products must be tested and approved by a laboratory before hitting the shelves and being sold to consumers.
But that’s not for lack of trying. The commission has prioritized testing lab license applications received on or before Aug. 1; those complete applications will be “taken out of order” and fast-tracked.
As of the commission’s last public meeting on July 12, one testing lab had submitted a complete application, according to a commission spokesperson. From there, the process involves a background check on the applicant’s (conducted by a state contractor) and confirmation from the applicant’s “host municipality” that the business meets all local bylaws and ordinances.
Once the testing lab applicant achieves those steps, the commission will add it to the agenda of a future meeting.
“The Commission is not making specific information available on pending license applications and has 90 days to issue a provisional license or deny it [once those preliminary steps are taken],” the spokesperson wrote in an email to Cannabis Dispensary.
The state currently lists three independent testing labs with medical cannabis licenses: ProVerde Laboratories, MCR Labs and CDX Analytics.
Top photo courtesy of Adobe Stock