State clears 2 new cannabis stores

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service

The seventh and eighth recreational marijuana stores in Massachusetts have been cleared to open as early as this Saturday, the Cannabis Control Commission said Tuesday.

Regulators issued notices to commence operations for the Temescal Wellness of Massachusetts retail locations at 10 Callahan Dr. in Pittsfield and at 252 Coolidge St. in Hudson. Both locations already operate as medical marijuana dispensaries and can begin selling non-medical marijuana on Saturday.

According to CCC documents, both stores were granted provisional licenses Sept. 20. The Hudson store was initially inspected by CCC staff on Oct. 16 and the Pittsfield store was first inspected on Oct. 18. Both received final licensure on Dec. 13.

The first non-medical pot shops in the Bay State opened on Nov. 20 and a total of five have opened to consumers, in Leicester, Northampton, Salem, Wareham, and Easthampton. Another store in Great Barrington is expected to open Friday.

Late last month, CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said the CCC is in a “rhythm” now that could result in four to eight new retail stores coming online each month.

The commission will meet Thursday and is expected to vote to authorize two more final licenses for Temescal Wellness, allowing the company to grow up to 10,000 square feet of cannabis and also to produce marijuana products at its facility at 141 SW Cutoff in Worcester.

Getting from final licensure to commencing operations has taken roughly three to five weeks for the other businesses that have opened. The CCC on Thursday is also slated to vote on eight provisional licenses, including one for a Mass. Alternative Care retail store in Chicopee.

State issues rules to guide legal marijuana industry

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission on March 6 unanimously approved 935 CMR 500.00, the regulations for licensing and implementation of the adult-use cannabis industry in Massachusetts. The vote came nine days before the commission’s statutory deadline.

“Today’s meeting was the culmination of months of dogged dedication to an open and collaborative process that embraced the diversity of thought, experience, and perspective of Massachusetts residents in service of the people’s will,” said CCC Chairman Steven J. Hoffman. “Each commissioner was intentional, balanced, and respectful in the healthy push and pull that ultimately delivered a regulatory framework that will result in a retail market that is appropriate for Massachusetts. It was a thorough and necessary process to ensure that the Commonwealth’s unique needs around safety, equity, and commerce were represented in the final regulations.”

The unanimous vote was taken after a six-month process that included 10 listening sessions, nearly 500 public comments, and seven public hearings to deliberate on roughly 150 policies.

The final regulations include nine license categories: cultivator, craft marijuana cooperative, microbusiness, product manufacturer, independent testing laboratory, storefront retailer, third-party transporter, existing licensee transporter, and research facility, to meet the immediate needs of the industry.

Key Regulation Outcomes:

• First-in-the-nation requirement for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMD) to maintain an adequate medical supply of marijuana products for patients that either equates to 35 percent of inventory, or the average, actual sales over the prior six months if co-located with an adult-use Marijuana Establishment.

• Priority status for Economic Empowerment Applicants to support licensees from communities and areas disproportionately impacted by high rates of arrest, conviction, and incarceration related to marijuana crimes.

• Universal symbols to indicate a marijuana product contains cannabis and is harmful to children;

• Executive Office of Energy and Environment Affairs’ (EEA) recommendations to reduce cultivator energy use and limit emissions in the Commonwealth;

• Flexible licensing and fee structure that promotes the inclusion of small- and large-scale business ventures, encourages responsible production, and allows growth.

“I’m excited to reach this important milestone; however, there is significant work ahead to launch a safe, robust, and vibrant adult-use cannabis industry,” said Shawn Collins, executive director of the Cannabis Control Commission. “The commissioners and I worked closely with our peers around the nation, sister agencies, policymakers, and community members who provided invaluable feedback to ensure that the regulations reflected best practices and addressed concerns. We are now focused on continuing to build our staff and implementing this progressive and innovative marketplace that puts the health and safety of our citizens first.”

The commission will incorporate language approved at the March 6 meeting into the final regulations before filing them with the Secretary of State.

Over the coming months, the commission has a number of additional milestones to reach, including:

April 1: Begin accepting license applications

June 1: Earliest date on which the commission may issue a license to operate a Marijuana Establishment.

For more information, visit the commission’s website at or follow the commission on Twitter at @MA_Cannabis.