BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission unanimously approved the state’s first recreational marijuana business license during a Thursday meeting.
The license was awarded to Sira Naturals, a cultivation facility in Milford that already grows medical marijuana.
“Even though this is a significant milestone, I want to stress it’s the beginning, not the end,” Steven Hoffman, chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission said during the meeting.
Sira Naturals turned in one of 53 completed applications that regulators are set to review ahead of the July 1 target date of when legal retail marijuana sales can begin.
Sira Naturals CEO Michael Dundas said it was very gratifying to get the first license. “We’re very excited about it and we are going to work very, very hard to continue our tradition of providing premium cannabis sustainably grown and sold with integrity,” Dundas said.
Sira Naturals now has a tier 3 license, which means they can grow between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet of marijuana. They can cultivate, process and package marijuana and transfer and deliver marijuana products to marijuana establishments, but not to consumers.
They have been growing medical marijuana and hope to get into the recreational retail business too. “I would say somewhere late this winter, early 2019 will our organization be able to start selling recreational cannabis but that’s only a guess,” Dundas said.
Hoffman said the state is “very far away” from making precise estimates as to when the legal marijuana industry will be fully up and running.
“Please be patient, we’re doing this right,” Hoffman said. “It’s going to be a great industry that Massachusetts is going to be proud of. It’s going to meet all the legislative objectives and I hope people understand that this is about the long term.”
Sira Naturals has medical marijuana dispensaries in Cambridge, Somerville and Needham.