October 9, 2018
Manufacturing insights

Leicester store likely to sell East Coast's first recreational marijuana in a few weeks

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Cultivate in Leicester could be the first adult-use cannabis dispensary to begin sales on the East Coast.

Leicester marijuana grower, product manufacturer and retailer Cultivate won one of the first final retail licenses from the Cannabis Control Commission last week, setting the stage for the state's impending rollout of the recreational cannabis industry. President Sam Barber spoke to WBJ about the company's preparations for when adult-use cannabis products can finally be sold.

Do you have any idea when Cultivate can finally open for recreational sales?

We're hoping in the next few weeks. There are still a few minor inspections that need to happen. We're definitely very close now.

What else needs to happen?

We need to get lab-approved. We need to get our product tested for the recreational market, and we also need our sales-ready inspection. State inspectors will come for that one more time.

Do you hope to open before New England Treatment Access in Boston and Northampton, which also got a final license from the CCC?

Just the way this process is playing out, it's going to end up being both of us on the same day. We want to just make sure that when we do open, we do it properly and we're ready for it .

Does Cultivate have the staff to handle that business once you guys can finally open?

We're been onboarding quite a bit lately as well as working with local police departments to make sure that when we do open, it's safe and done correctly.

How many employees have you added?

We've added about 20 new hires in the past few weeks.

Some in the industry say there may not be enough product to go around with just a handful of stores opening to start. Will Cultivate have enough product?

We're doing our best to make sure we are ready for that, but I do see that a lack of supply could turn into a bit of a problem. There are more growers coming online, so that will allow us to buy some of their product if we need to.

What does it mean to possibly be the first retail cannabis store to open east of the Mississippi?

It's pretty exciting. This is going to be great for our local town and great for the state with the tax revenue and jobs the industry creating.

When people walk into these stores, they're definitely going to rethink what their view is on this product. The consistent view I've gotten from people new to us is that this isn't what they expected. This is something that can help a lot of people whether its on the adult use side or the medical side.

The overall benefit of this outweighs the negatives.

This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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