On July 2nd, Cultivate Holdings, Inc. received the first non-medical retail marijuana license in Massachusetts, one day after the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) had hoped to start legal cannabis sales in Massachusetts. Sira Naturals, which is located in Milford and also currently operates as a medical marijuana dispensary, was also approved to manufacture marijuana-based products and transport marijuana. Sira Naturals had previously been granted permission to grow 20,000 sq. ft. of non-medical marijuana.
Cultivate Holdings, Inc and Sira Naturals both benefitted from the Cannabis Control Commissions’ (CCC) “priority review” license application process which allowed certain licensees to be reviewed first, including licensees who currently operated a medical marijuana dispensary. Currently the CCC is reviewing 73 license application from 39 entities. They are hoping to approve a marijuana test lab application at their next meeting on July 26th because retail shops like Cultivate Holdings cannot sell non-medical marijuana until it has been tested at an independent testing facility first.
As the CCC has begun to rollout license applications, Attorney General Maura Healy has faced sharp criticism for potentially limiting the number of entities hoping to obtain a license. She recently approved a proposal which will allow the town of Mansfield to extend its temporary moratorium on marijuana businesses. Cannabis activists and officials fear this will create a loophole for other towns hoping to prevent the opening of non-medical marijuana establishments in their own communities. Currently, after the CCC approves a license application, the municipality in which the potential entity would be located has 60 days to review the license and ensure that it adheres to local zoning laws. Thus far, 70 cities and towns in Massachusetts have banned retail marijuana shops and another 135 cities and towns have placed moratoriums like Mansfield’s preventing any retail marijuana shops from opening in those communities.
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