Massachusetts marijuana regulators Thursday approved final licenses for the first two retail pot shops in the state, but opening dates remain uncertain.
There are still regulatory steps and final inspections that need to take place before the newly licensed stores – one in Northampton and one in Leicester, just west of Worcester – can start selling to the public.
Retail marijuana sales have been legal in Massachusetts since July 1st, but no stores have opened.
Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst, who chairs the council’s committee on marijuana regulations, said the city will begin accepting applications on Oct 16th for permits for pot stores.
"Government can work slowly, and government can work quickly. So we'll see," said Hurst when asked this week when the first marijuana retail location in Springfield might open.
The City Council voted to cap at 15 the number of stores in the city that will be permitted to sell marijuana.
Most of Springfield’s suburbs have banned pot businesses.