BOSTON (WHDH) - BOSTON (AP) — Prospects for retail pot shops opening for business in Massachusetts by a July 1 target date appear to be dimming.

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission met Thursday without issuing the first commercial business licenses under the state’s voter-approved recreational marijuana law.

Steven Hoffman, the commission chairman, told reporters that regulators hope to begin issuing licenses “shortly,” but added he couldn’t offer a specific date.

Hoffman describes the July 1 date for retail sales given in the law as an “arbitrary deadline” and not a mandate. He says regulators are still awaiting background checks and other information on the more than two dozen entities that have applied for retail or other types of marijuana business licenses.

He says, “We are going to do this right.”

The panel’s next meeting is Tuesday.

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