Despite the low number of finished applications, advocates say it’s too early to get worried.
“The list can mislead,” said Jim Smith, an attorney with Smith, Costello & Crawford who works with marijuana clients. “There are a lot of people working on getting those (applications) together. That list will multiply in the coming days and a lot of those are in Boston.”
He said few cities and towns around Boston have zoning in place for a recreational retail marijuana store, and applicants still need to apply for special permits within a zoned district. “But first you have to find a location within that zone, which is really challenging, and you need a willing landlord,” Smith said. “It’s very expensive, very limited around Boston. And it’s very dense.”
Western Massachusetts also has four completed retail license applications: Silver Therapeutics in Williamstown, Green Biz LLC in Pittsfield, Patriot Care Corp. in Greenfield, Cultivate Holdings in Leicester.
Kamani Jefferson, president of the Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, agreed it’s too early to worry about the dearth of applications in and around the city, noting that state regulations called for upward of 40 dispensaries in Boston, or 20 percent of the number of liquor licenses and package stores.
“It’s not too concerning for now, but it can be in the future,” Jefferson said.
Since the commission started reviewing licenses on June 1, only two dispensaries have received provisional licenses. Sira Naturals received provisional licenses to cultivate, transport and manufacture marijuana. Cultivate Holdings in Leicester was the first business in the state to receive a provisional license this week to sell recreational marijuana.
Though both could conceivably receive approval from the state in the coming weeks, no lab has yet submitted a completed application to the state, and without a lab, no recreational marijuana can be sold.