Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings (OTC:CURLF) has reached a milestone in its development as a retail marijuana operation: It has opened the first adult-use (i.e., recreational) dispensary in its home state. The dispensary is located in the town of Oxford near the city of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Customers can only patronize the dispensary by appointment during its first 30 days of operation, Curaleaf said. Bookings can be made online through the company's website.
Although the facility is already open for business, a formal grand opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday morning. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee, an advocate for cannabis legalization, will participate in the festivities.
The building in which the dispensary is located is already home to a Curaleaf retail operation that provides medical marijuana to qualified patients. This store was opened in April 2018.
Massachusetts is one of 11 U.S. states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. The state voted this into law in a ballot initiative held concurrently with the 2016 congressional and presidential elections. The first retail stores in Massachusetts opened in November 2018.
In the press release heralding its news, Curaleaf said its new store "provides a significant opportunity to reach more customers and provide increased access to Curaleaf's premium products, while expanding its position as the most accessible cannabis brand in the country."
Curaleaf's application for an adult-use retail license was approved in September. At that time, the company also received two provisional licenses for recreational dispensaries elsewhere in the state. One is for the town of Ware, which is some distance west of Oxford, and the other is for Provincetown, a municipality on the tip of Cape Cod.
Having a relatively large retail presence is a key element of Curaleaf's business strategy and one way it seeks to distinguish itself somewhat from other marijuana companies. In fact, at the moment, the company has the highest number of dispensaries among multistate operators at 49.
That number is set to grow dramatically. In July, Curaleaf struck an $875 million cash-and-stock deal to acquire privately held GR Companies, which does business as Grassroots and holds licenses to operate 61 dispensaries. Twenty of those licenses were in use by actively operating retail stores. That acquisition, however, is pending.