Marijuana Commissioner: Retail Sales Will Likely Roll Out More Slowly Than Expected
BOSTON (CBS) – In Massachusetts, it is legal to smoke and ingest marijuana and grow your own plants. The goal was to have retail marijuana shops open by July 1. Steven Hoffman, Chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, answered our questions about where the process stands, and when the public is likely to see recreational pot shops.
What can adults who want to use recreational marijuana do as of July 1?
Hoffman: We are meeting our legislative mandates, so we started with final regulations that were approved on March 15, we started accepting applications on April 1. The legislation says that we cannot approve applications before June 1. There is nothing in the legislation about July 1, but I recognize it as an expectation of the public. We have said from day one we are going to try and meet that expectation, but we’re going to do it right and it’s more important for us to do it right and to think about what this industry looks like July 1 of 2019 and 2020. So it’s going to roll out probably a little more slowly perhaps than people expected and I’m sorry that those expectations have not been met, but again, they’re expectations, not a legal requirement.
On Thursday, the Commission is voting to issue the first cultivation license. When will licenses for recreational retail stores be voted on?
Hoffman: We can only move as fast as the license applications come in. As of last week we reported in our public meeting we had 53 applications that are complete. Of those about a dozen are retail. So the way the process works, the application is complete, then we start our own internal review, and we send it out for a background check, and we notify the city or town that