The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has approved the first commercial marijuana shops in the state.
The news comes two years after voters legalized recreational cannabis in Massachusetts.
They have approved licenses for cultivation, product manufacturing, and retail sales for Cultivate Holdings in Leicester. They also approved a retail license for England Treatment Access in Northampton.
There are still some procedural steps that must be completed before the stores can begin selling publicly. However, Steven Hoffman, chairman of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission says that they are just a few weeks away.
“I think it’s a big milestone,” said Mr. Hoffman. “But it’s going to be a bigger one when the stores actually open.”
Voters legalized recreational cannabis for adults in November 2016, but consumers and businesses have been frustrated because there is still no place to legally buy and sell cannabis.
“We’re doing it right,” Mr. Hoffman explained. “I’m very proud of the way we’re doing it. We’re being careful, we’re being thorough. In the long term, this is going to be in the best interest, I believe, of the citizens of the state of Massachusetts.”