With just over two weeks remaining, the Cannabis Control Commission has yet to issue its first license to sell marijuana for recreational use. The earliest the commission would consider issuing one is Tuesday, the commission’s chairman said Thursday.
“I’m not going to offer forecasts, other than we’re working as hard as we can and we’re determined to do this right. But we have, from day one, said July 1 is not a legislative mandate,” Chairman Steven Hoffman said. “It is our objective, and we’re going to try to meet that objective, but we’re going to do it right, and that continues to be the way we’re operating at the commission.”
Hoffman’s comments came at a meeting of the commission, which is the licensing authority for recreational marijuana sales. The next meeting of the commission is Tuesday.
In November 2016, state voters approved a ballot initiative that legalized adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Across the Berkshires and the state, would-be marijuana sellers, growers and manufacturers have been racing for approvals to tap into the fledgling market.
At a meeting of the Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving on Wednesday, Cannabis Control Commission Executive Director Shawn Collins also hedged on the July 1 launch date.
“We’re working as diligently as we possibly can to get recreational marijuana to consumers as soon as we are able,” Collins said. “We’re being as thorough as possible, but it’s hard to promise or I can’t tell at this point.”
Industry insiders say that, due to the licensing process and a lack of recreational marijuana being cultivated, it might take until the end of the summer for just a handful of stores across the state to start selling recreational marijuana.