Theory Wellness gets provisional OK to sell recreational pot

CEO says sales are about 6 to 8 weeks away

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Theory Wellness is one step closer to selling recreational marijuana now that the medical weed dispensary has received its provisional sales license from the Cannabis Control Commission.

Theory Wellness CEO Brandon Pollock said the dispensary was awarded the license Thursday, and he's got his eyes set on the next few steps to getting the final adult retail license — passing physical state building inspections, as well as a review of the company's procedures and policies.

"It's a good benchmark for us," Pollock said of the provisional license. "We still certainly have some work to do, but it's good to get this goal accomplished."

Massachusetts voters approved recreational cannabis consumption, production and sales for adults in 2016. Since that time, the state has developed a system and regulations to oversee the new industry, and entrepreneurs have been applying for licenses and negotiating with municipalities for host agreements — necessary contracts for weed businesses.

Pollock said he hopes to be selling recreational marijuana at the Stockbridge Road store in the next six to eight weeks.

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"It's tough to know for sure because no one in Massachusetts has opened yet," he said of starting recreational sales. "It seems like some of the first companies are very close."

Recreational marijuana sales were approved by the state Legislature to begin in July, but a long application process has pushed back the start date. So far, there is no place in Massachusetts that is legally selling recreational marijuana. More than 15 establishments have received preliminary cannabis licenses from the state, including two testing labs. Two retailers received their final cannabis sales licenses earlier this month: one in Northampton and another in Leicester.

Pollock said Theory Wellness also has applied for licenses for recreational production and manufacturing of marijuana, as well as waivers that would allow the company to use some of its medicinal marijuana for recreational sale.

Theory Wellness, which opened for medical sales in September 2017, will not be making many changes to the physical building in anticipation of recreational sales, Pollock said, though the company has already added 25 parking spaces to its lot. Acquisition of the final license will create around 18 new jobs, he said. Through the host agreement with the town, Theory Wellness will pay Great Barrington 3 percent of the company's annual revenue — the town stands to gain $180,000 to $240,000 per year, in addition to a local 3 percent tax on recreational weed sales.

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com, @kristinpalpini on Twitter, 413-629-4621.


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