State lawmakers, who took issue with the original law, approved a raft of changes last year that extended the deadline to open retail pot shops by six months.
But Britte McBride, a Lynnfield lawyer appointed by Attorney General Maura Healey to the Cannabis Control Commission, recently called July 1 an “aspirational” date that could be pushed back if the technology, staff or resources to regulate the new industry aren’t in place.
“It’s not a statutory deadline, so it can be moved,” she told the editorial board of the North of Boston Media Group. “I’d rather do it right, than do it rushed.”
Commissioner Jennifer Flanagan, a former state senator appointed to the pot board by Gov. Charlie Baker, said the commission is on track to finalize regulations for the industry by March 15, as required by law, but the date to allow retail shops to open can be moved by a simple majority of the five-member panel.
Commission Chairman Steve Hoffman, too, has tried to tamp down expectations that the industry will be up and running by the summer.
“If our technology and staff is in place, we’ll be ready to go,” he told reporters recently. “But unless those things are in place, we will not.”