Cannabis Control Commission Update: Retail Licenses

Although the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has begun awarding provisional, adult-use licenses to some entities in the Commonwealth as of July 1, only one retail license has been awarded and, to date, no retail stores have yet opened for business.  One large impediment to opening retail stores is the statutory requirement that all cannabis sold in the Commonwealth for adult use be tested by an independent testing laboratory, which itself must be licensed as such by the Commission.  Thus far, the Commission has not yet licensed any independent testing laboratories; only one laboratory has submitted a complete application for review, and three others have begun the process of applying.  Nevertheless, the Commission has expressed content at its progress in implementing the will of the Commonwealth’s voters following the 2016 referendum, and expects a marked uptick in both applications and licenses in the coming weeks and months.  Indeed, Chairman Hoffman recently acknowledged as much when stating that: “I’m pretty proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve done it and how quickly we’ve done it…it’s hard to lose sight of the fact that nine months ago, or ten months ago now, we started with no staff, no money and no offices, and I think we’ve accomplished a lot.”  The Commission has made good progress thus far, and promises to continue doing so as the number of retail applications and licenses continues to increase.

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