August 21, 2018

Framingham marijuana testing lab could be approved Thursday

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Cultivate in Leicester was the first company in Massachusetts to land a retail license.

The state's adult-use cannabis industry could clear a major hurdle Thursday as the Cannabis Control Commission is expected to approve licenses for two independent testing facilities.

Such facilities are a critical pieces of the supply chain for the industry, which must have products tested before they can be sold.

Two companies -- MCR Labs of Framingham and CDX Analytics of Salem -- will have their cases heard Thursday. Both currently test medical marijuana for the state's medical use program.

In a tweet, Commissioner Shaleen Title attempted to put the concerns of marijuana users and companies at ease.

State regulators marked July 1 as the start of the retail licensing process for marijuana businesses. So far, a handful of cultivation, manufacturing, transportation and retail licenses have been awarded, but testing labs have not yet appeared on the CCC's agenda.

Cannabis has been legal for adults to grow and use since December 2016, but the rollout of the legal industry has been slowed by the state's thorough licensing process.

In Central Massachusetts, only Cultivate in Leicester has been awarded a retail license, but the CCC has 54 other retail licenses it is currently considering. The company also hopes to be granted a product manufacturing license from the CCC on Thursday.

As of Aug. 9, there were 29 total pending marijuana business licenses in Worcester County.

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