BOSTON (WBZ) -- Sunday marked the date when recreational cannabis shops were supposed to be allowed to open in Massachusetts, but nothing happened. One reason? Nobody had a retail cannabis license.
That changed Monday, as the Cannabis Control Commission approved a provisional retail pot license for adult-use cannabis to a company in Leicester called Cultivate Holdings. Cultivate already sells medical marijuana, and the retail license could allow them to expand their current medical dispensaries.
Sam Barber, President of Cultivate Holdings, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens he was "very happy" with the decision. He said he hopes to open a store in Leicester by September. It would be the state's first adult-use retail store.
"We're very excited to be the first," Barber, 25, said. "With this exciting industry ahead, we all feel it's going to be tremendous for the Commonwealth, the amount of jobs that this is going to create for the local community, especially our town, and the amount of tax revenue is going to be a huge help ... It's been a lot of work, I've been working on this for five years. It is not an easy thing to get through."
One reason Cultivate Holdings received a provisional retail cannabis license is because the company gained the trust of the local community. Among other things, they promised to donate 10% of their profits to local charities in Leicester. @MA_Cannabis @iheartBluntTalk— Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) July 2, 2018
But Cultivate won't start selling immediately--before anyone can sell adult-use cannabis, the product needs to be okayed by a license testing facility, and right now, there aren't any testing facilities that are licensed.
All over the state, entrepreneurs are chomping at the bit for the industry to get going--entrepreneurs like Aja Atwood, with Trella Technologies on the Cape, who tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens she's eager to be a part of what could be a very fast growing business in the state. She's working on technology to enhance indoor vertical farming.
"It just excited me to think about all the different things that we haven't even experienced yet, all the problems that need to be solved," she said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports