When will recreational marijuana dispensaries open in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana more than a year and a half ago, but there still isn’t anywhere residents can legally buy it.

That should soon change, but don’t expect legal weed shops to crop up on every corner. Far from it. Here’s what you need to know about when recreational marijuana shops will open in Massachusetts:

When are dispensaries able to open?

July 1.

That’s the earliest possible date that licensed dispensaries can begin selling recreational marijuana, according to state law. The Cannabis Control Commission, which is the state agency in charge of rolling out and regulating the new industry, began accepting license applications in April and could begin granting licenses as of June 1.

So pot shops will be open July 1, right? Advertisement

Um, probably not.

Commission chairman Steve Hoffman was asked last week if July 1 could be the first day of recreational marijuana sales.

“It could be,” he responded.

But all indicators are signaling otherwise.

According to public documents posted Thursday, the commission has received 18 completed retail applications from dispensaries hoping to sell recreational marijuana. However it hasn’t approved any of those applications yet.

The commission issued its first cultivation license Thursday to Sira Naturals, which currently has three medical dispensaries in the state, for its growing facility in Milford. The license is subject to a number of conditions, including additional paperwork and facility inspections, which are reportedly expected to take “several weeks” to fulfill.

Additionally, without any licensed non-medical pot shops in the state, there’s no way for Sira’s recreational crop to hit the market, so consumers won’t see any difference until licenses are granted to retail businesses.

What’s with the hold up?

The commission has 90 days to review license applications, which involves conducting background checks and making sure businesses have accurately

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