Despite a seemingly non-stop string of delays, Massachusetts is winding down the final phase of the licensing process for a handful of retail cannabis companies that will become the first to operate under the state’s 2016 adult-use law. The Cannabis Control Commission has a meeting scheduled for this Thursday that many expect will grant final approval to about a dozen weed shops. But first, those businesses will have to pass one final hurdle before the commission gives the green light: a site inspection.
Cannabis Retailers Enter Final Phase of Licensing Process
The last step before a retail cannabis shop can get approval from the Cannabis Control Commission and open its doors to the public is a site inspection. The commission reports that they have already scheduled several inspections for this week. And if everything goes as planned, the commission could give approval to those businesses at its September 20 meeting.
After the committee issues a license, the only thing a business has left to do is pay its licensing fee. Upon receipt of the fee, the company can open for business and complete retail cannabis transactions with anyone 21 and over.
And that means that finally, officially, recreational weed sales could begin in Massachusetts as early as this Friday.
Site inspections, however, are time consuming. And only 11 of the approximately 38 applicants seeking retail licenses have reached the stage where they can schedule an inspection. In other words, the Cannabis Control Commission will only be able to inspect a few of the eleven in time for Thursday’s meeting.
Those who don’t make the cut this time around won’t have to wait long, though. The CCC meets bi-weekly, and its next scheduled meeting after Sep 20 will be Oct 4. At that point, more of the applicants will likely have had their site inspections completed.
Buying Legal Weed in Massachusetts
Consumers and businesses alike are eagerly awaiting retail cannabis sales to begin in Massachusetts. Both the industry and regulators have acknowledged that the process has in many ways been arduous. Even as sales get set to begin, growers are preparing to sue the state over a licensing process they say fosters extortion and corruption between companies and city officials.
For consumers, access to retail dispensaries might be challenging at first. But the situation will improve as more shops receive their licenses. Medical dispensaries will still be the most prevalent retailers. But you’ll need to have a Massachusetts medical card to enter one. Adult consumers can possess up to one ounce of cannabis in public and no more than 5 grams of concentrate. You can’t smoke in public or in your car, and transporting cannabis out of state is illegal.