Lee pot store hits another snag with final license

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LEE — The town's first retail recreational marijuana store is still awaiting state approval to open for business.

Canna Provisions CEO Meg Sanders and Chief Operating Officer Erik Williams had expected the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission to act on the company's final license two weeks ago. The CCC didn't have the item on its April 25 agenda. The state panel next meets Thursday, posting its agenda two days before the meeting.

The adult-use retail store originally was looking to open about a month ago, after the commission in February awarded the Boston-based firm a provisional license, a prerequisite before the state panel will consider final licensure. But Canna's license approval failed to make the CCC's agenda for its April 4 meeting.

Canna is poised to open as soon as possible at the former Southern States used-car dealership on Housatonic Street, not far from Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

"The second we are on the agenda, we will send letters out offering 20 more jobs," Williams said.

Williams noted that 28 people already are on the payroll getting the shop ready to receive recreational marijuana product and learning the protocol on selling to adults at least 21 years old with proper identification.

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Sanders says the additional delay allows the staff to keep preparing for opening day. Also, she praised other Lee businesses and town officials in welcoming Canna to town.

"Everyone is gearing up for us. It feels like a group effort," Sanders said.

Canna Provisions is owned by Sanders, Williams and Eugene McCain from West Newton, who originally formed the company.

To start, the store will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and have security personnel on-site. Williams has said hours of operation could expand to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the maximum allowed under town regulations.

In anticipation of a crush of cannabis customers, Canna will have two off-duty police officers who will direct traffic in front of the store, and off-site parking will be available for customers and employees within a short walking distance.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@bwerkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233.


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