Marijuana in Massachusetts: State Regulators Sign Off on 90,000 Square Foot Cultivation Facility

Written by: Gintautas Dumcius – Mass Live

A 90,000 square foot facility in Leicester, which will cultivate, process and package marijuana products, on Thursday received the approval of Massachusetts regulators. The Cannabis Control Commission signed off on provisional licenses on in-door cultivation and product manufacturing for East Coast Organics LLC.

The five-member commission also handed out provisional licenses to the following marijuana businesses: Caroline’s Cannabis of Uxbridge (retail); Commonwealth Cultivation Inc. in Pittsfield (cultivation); Curaleaf Massachusetts Inc., of Webster and Oxford (cultivation, product manufacturing and retailing); and Theory Wellness, Inc. in Great Barrington (retail). 

The commission also signed off on final licenses to a key part of the nascent marijuana supply chain: CDX Analytics of Salem and MCR Labs LLC of Framingham, independent testing laboratories.

The two labs are involved in testing medical marijuana. State law calls for recreational marijuana to be tested for safety before it can be sold. “One more piece of the puzzle, coming together,” Steve Hoffman, the commission chairman, told reporters. 

MCR Labs received the license despite an incident last year involving an alleged marijuana theft by an employee. Hoffman said the commission was aware of the issue, “we looked into the issue, we do not believe it was a disqualifying issue.” Hoffman noted commission staff had said MCR Labs made changes to its security operations since the incident.

Asked when retail marijuana shops, which would be the first on the east coast, will open in Massachusetts, Hoffman said, “We’re getting very close. I mean, I don’t think there’s any merit in me saying two weeks, three weeks, four weeks.”

The commission earlier this year provided final licenses to another Leicester-based marijuana establishment: Cultivate Holdings, which runs a medical marijuana dispensary in the Worcester County community. Cultivate Holdings received final licenses for retailing, product manufacturing and cultivation.

New England Treatment Access (NETA), which wants to open a recreational marijuana shop in the same location as its Northampton medical marijuana dispensary. NETA has also received a final license for retail.

The two businesses must still meet several conditions before opening and selling recreational marijuana. “It’s a complicated process, it is a controversial process,” Hoffman told reporters after the commission’s Thursday meeting. “We have always said we’re going to get this right and that’s more important to us than an artificial deadline.”