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Cannabis Control Commission To Consider State's 1st License For Pot Shop

BOSTON (AP/CBS) — Marijuana regulators may be closer to issuing the first retail license to sell recreational pot in Massachusetts.

The Cannabis Control Commission is slated to consider on Monday recommendations from its staff on a retail application submitted by Cultivate Holdings of Leicester.

The company currently operates a medical marijuana dispensary in the Worcester County town.

Sam Barber
Cultivate President Sam Barber (WBZ-TV)

"I was not expecting to be the first," said Cultivate President Sam Barber.

Describing his operation as farm-to-table, "we actually started everything from seeds," the 25-year-old explained that they grow and sell their product in the same site.

Now host to 20 local employees, Barber is excited by what the retail license could do for Cultivate and the marijuana industry in general. "You're gonna see a huge amount of jobs created, that are high-paying, great jobs. As well as creating significant tax revenue for the state."

But, more than that, Barber is excited by how his product can help the community. He aims to remove the "stoner stigma", arguing that marijuana can be helpful for many people. "It's helping improve peoples' lives. Whether it's replacing, you know, the painkillers that they have to go on, or helping our veterans with things like PTSD, or even children with epilepsy."

Marijuana Cultivate
Marijuana inside Cultivate Holdings of Leicester (WBZ-TV)

Even if a provisional license were to be issued by the Commission, it's unclear how long it would take for retail sales to begin at the site. Though Cultivate is already a registered medical marijuana dispensary, their recreational products have to be tested by an independent facility before they can begin retail sale.

The state's voter-approved recreational marijuana law called for pot shops to open on Sunday, but the commission has yet to award any retail licenses. Local concerns about the stores and the lack of any marijuana testing facilities required under the law are among factors cited for missing the July 1 target date.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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