State commission grants final license to first marijuana microbusiness
State cannabis regulators granted a final license Thursday to Massachusetts’ first marijuana microbusiness, a woman-owned, cultivation-focused company in Uxbridge that plans to ultimately offer a line of tinctures and topicals.
Gibby’s Garden LLC received a final license for indoor cultivation and product manufacturing, which will give it the ability to grow marijuana and create its own products. Microbusinesses can apply to be marijuana cultivators, product manufacturers, or both.
“That’s a pretty important milestone,” Cannabis Control Commission Chairman Steven Hoffman said Thursday after the commission’s unanimous vote to approve the final license.
Gibby’s Garden plans to “be a small operation at first,” and once it needs to expand, company leaders plan to “hire individuals from disproportionately impacted areas and those with past drug convictions,” according to information on the company’s provisional license, which was granted in November.
The company also has plans to offer community education programs about marijuana laws and employment opportunities in the industry, build a professional network for people from disproportionate areas to connect them with marijuana industry jobs, and develop mentorship programs for people with past drug convictions.
Gibby’s Garden will still need to receive a “commence operations” notice from the commission before it can begin cultivating and manufacturing.
The commission had also planned to discuss and vote Thursday on draft regulations that would tackle issues like home delivery and social consumption, which were deferred last year, while also making any necessary changes to the original adult-use regulations put in place. The commission is also taking a look at any changes that need to be made to the medical marijuana regulations since the program was transferred from the Department of Public Health to the cannabis commission in January.
Those discussions were postponed until the end of June. Public hearings on those regulations will be scheduled for July.
“The simple fact is that we’re just not ready,” Hoffman said at the beginning of the meeting. “There is a lot of work to be done, and we just need more time.”
The commission is “not reversing any of our policies,” Hoffman said, but it needs time to delve into the complexities of the various regulations.
Hoffman emphasized that the decision to take another look at the state’s regulations was not a mandate by any legislative body, but instead the commission’s choice to make sure they “get this right.”
“This was a self-imposed mandate. I take responsibility for both setting that mandate and for pushing it off,” Hoffman said. “We have always operated under the assumption it’s more important to do it right than to hit arbitrary deadlines.”