The Cannabis Control Commission announced at its meeting on Thursday that one lab has submitted a completed application for a recreational marijuana license, though it didn’t specify which lab.
While there are four labs in Massachusetts to test medical cannabis, they can’t test recreational marijuana without an additional license. Such a license requires a contract with the town, often including financial incentives for the community equal to up to three percent of gross revenues. These “host community agreements” can take several weeks to finalize.
Labs were unaware of the requirement at the outset of the state’s recreational legalization process, and lagged behind dispensaries in filing for licenses as they worked to sign contracts with their host towns. However, the commission said it would take lab applications out of order to make certain that there was an available lab to test recreational cannabis when the recreational market launched.
When asked Thursday if the commission would take up the license at its next meeting in two weeks, Commission Chairman Steve Hoffman said, “I hope so.”
“Clearly we took action to prioritize our review, so that is the hope and intent,” he said
In addition to addressing the lingering questions around labs, the commission also gave Leicester-based dispensary Cultivate a provisional cultivation license. Cultivate is the only marijuana dispensary in the state to have secured a provisional retail license.
The latest license, which allows Cultivate to grow between 5,000 and 10,000-square-feet of marijuana crop, is a critical step in allowing the dispensary to sell its own product for recreational sales. Cultivate will still need approval from the Department of Public Health to transfer medical marijuana for recreational sales.
“It definitely does feel like there’s progress,” said Sam Barber, president of Cultivate, when asked about his application prior to the meeting. “At the same time, there are a few things that more details (are needed). How that transfer process will happen, it sounds like we’re getting very close but it’s unclear as to how quickly the rest of these issues will be resolved.”