By Dan Adams Globe Staff May 16, 2018
With the expected start of Massachusetts recreational marijuana sales just weeks away, you might think cannabis companies would be giddy, eager to pocket their slice of a market that could be worth upwards of $1 billion by 2020.
But industry executives predict that fewer than a dozen retail pot shops will open in July.
In fact, the nascent recreational industry and the state agency charged with overseeing it are bracing for a painfully slow rollout — and the accompanying disappointment of voters and consumers who were initially promised sales would start months earlier,in January 2018.
Dispensary operators and would-be pot entrepreneurs are preoccupied with a list of pressing challenges: local restrictions on marijuana businesses; the reluctance of banks, landlords, and traditional lenders to work with them; and the lingering stigma around the product they hope to sell.
Get Fast Forward in your inbox: Forget yesterday’s news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
“We’re just at the starting line,” said David Torrisi,