Massachusetts Awards First Recreational Cannabis License

Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission unanimously approved the state’s first recreational cannabis business license during a meeting late last week.

The license was awarded to Sira Naturals, a cannabis cultivation facility in Milford that currently cultivates medical cannabis. The company has been cultivating medical cannabis since 2016, but the new cannabis businesses license will allow the cultivation of recreational cannabis. “This historic milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our exceptional team and to the countless cannabis industry stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth whose passion to legalize cannabis made this dream a reality,” Sira Naturals CEO Michael Dundas said in a statement.

The cannabis business license is only a provisional license and to get a final permit and begin operations, the company’s facility must pass an inspection and its principals must complete a background check. The company also must refile a proposal outlining how the business will benefit communities affected by the enforcement of previous laws criminalizing cannabis after the commission agreed that the company’s initial plan was too vague.

The unanimous vote from the five-member commission comes more than 18 months after voters approved a ballot question legalizing adult-use cannabis. The commission hopes to vote on several license applications a week to set up a steady rollout of recreational cannabis businesses.

Massachusetts had targeted July 1 as the first day for recreational sales to begin, but the commission has yet to issue any cannabis business licenses to retailers.

Sira Naturals currently has three dispensaries in operation for medical cannabis, in Somerville, Cambridge and Needham, and plans to sell recreational cannabis at the Somerville and Cambridge locations. The company has also applied for research and transportation licenses, but the vote was limited to granting provisional cultivation-only licenses.

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