CCC takes another step toward opening retail marijuana shops in Mass.

BOSTON — Another small step toward the launch of the recreational marijuana industry in Massachusetts as the Cannabis Control Commission approved six final licenses and 11 provisional licenses Thursday.

The CCC had hoped to launch the retail marijuana industry by July 1, 2018, but did not meet that target. As of November 1, just shy of two years since Mass. voters approved recreational marijuana, there are 64 provisional licenses and 12 final licenses for retail and cultivation businesses, including two testing labs.

The Gibson family-owned craft cultivation business in Uxbridge received one of the six final recreational pot licenses Thursday.

"It's been a challenge. It's been a good challenge," said Freddy Gibson.

"We had to do all of the requirements outlined in the guidelines in the Massachusetts regulations. They're extensive. Takes a lot of time and energy and money," said Kimberly Gibson.

To date, the state has received almost 4,000 applications for retail pot shops or cultivation facilities, but only a little over 1,000 have those applications pending.

Critics say the board is stalling the process.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the commission tells Boston 25 news they have been working tirelessly to implement "a safe, equitable, and effective adult-use cannabis industry that works for Massachusetts."

They said once a final license is approved, the commission has to inspect the final license again and re-confirm the necessary conditions are met, including securing the inventory.

Owners on the retail side have expressed concern that any delay in the process will make the demand for the product once shops open far outpace the supply available.

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