Massachusetts Slow to License Pot Shops, Could Delay Recreational Sales Start

East Coast cannabis users booking bus tickets to Boston for July 1st’s expected recreational weed sales start may want to rethink their timing. After more than a year and a half of waiting, and just two weeks from the expected kickoff date, Bay State regulators have yet to license a single marijuana business.

”We are going to do this right,” Steven Hoffman, the Commission chairman, told reporters after Thursday’s meeting. Of those 53 applications, 36 finalized inquires come from previously-licensed medical marijuana businesses, which would presumably have a leg up in opening their doors to the expected hordes of East Coast customers.

For now Hoffman and his fellow regulators are still waiting for applicants to complete third-party background checks and receive local municipal approvals before they sing off on any recreational canna-businesses. After the latest commission meeting, Hoffman made it clear to reporters that the July 1st sales start date was an “Arbitrary deadline” and not a state mandated requirement.

“Other states that rushed to hit an arbitrary deadline ended up with no inventory in some cases, ended up with no licenses in place, no background checks being done, no online inventory being done. We are not going to do that,” Hoffman said.

The Bay State Cannabis Control Commission will meet again on Tuesday, June 19th, and could award the state’s first recreational cannabis business license at that time.

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