The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission recently issued the first marijuana license to a woman owned independent dispensary, Caroline’s Cannabis. Before Thursday, all of the business licenses issued were to affiliated companies that predominantly grow and manufacture their own products.
Dispensary owner Caroline Frankel remarked that “We’re taking it from a mom and pop perspective. All we’ve seen so far is big business.” Caroline’s Cannabis is expected to open their doors by the beginning of March in Uxbridge. Frankel’s dispensary is still awaiting a final inspections by the Cannabis Control Commission before it will receive the order to commence operations.
Frankel’s marijuana business license is only for a retail storefront but this will allow her to purchase inventory from a variety of wholesale cultivators and manufacturers. When asked about building her business she was quick to note that "It's a totally passion-driven project for me. I've been working on this for about six years on a full-time basis."
Previously Caroline Frankel made marijuana inspired home and garden décor, turning scrap wood and reclaimed cannabis stalks into beautiful rustic looking signs. She is incorporating this style into her dispensary design to create her “country-inspired cannabis boutique store.”
As the first woman owned independent retailer, Frankel hopes to “promote real change” in the regulated cannabis industry. In addition to selling cannabis, her dispensary will sell her carefully crafted and curated cannabis-related home, garden and store decor.
Massachusetts is certainly taking a proactive approach to diversity when approving applications for a marijuana license. The Chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, Steven Hoffman, recently stated that “The law requires us to ensure this is a diverse industry, and I and the other commissioners are totally committed to that. If it’s not turning into the kind of diverse industry that we’re all committed to, then we’ll decide what we need to do to make that happen.”
One of the commissioners, Shaleen Title, is happy to see the CCC issue a license to a woman owned, small business and called it “incredibly significant.” This was the first time Title didn’t abstain from voting due to the terms of host community agreements. Caroline’s Cannabis was approved for a business license by a unanimous 5-0 vote. Title went on to say that “I hope that we have a lot more like it.”