The Cannabis Control Commission voted unanimously to grant provisional licenses to two independent testing labs for retail marijuana during a meeting Thursday afternoon in downtown Boston.

This vote puts Massachusetts one step closer to having retail pot shops open for business.

“I think we're still talking about the same time frame – late summer early fall,” said the CCC Chairman, Steve Hoffman. “But we're not that far away.”

The two labs that have been granted provisional licenses are CDX Analytics in Salem, and MCR Labs in Framingham. Both labs have already been testing medical marijuana.

The lack of any licensed testing labs has been a major barrier for marijuana businesses trying to get their product to market. But other barriers persist, according to Commissioner Shaleen Title. She moved to include host community agreements in the licensing process to protect small businesses from paying excessive fees to cities and towns.

“If we don’t set parameters now – if we issue final licenses to businesses that have clearly noncompliant contracts […] then what will our basis be when we see one that is truly egregious?” Commissioner Title asked. Title said she fears the marijuana industry won’t be diverse or inclusive if the price for negotiating with a municipality is too high.

The proposal was voted down 4-1. But the Commission’s Chairman said, he thought it was a productive discussion.

“I think it's exactly the way the commission should work. We have five diverse people with different backgrounds, all trying to accomplish the same thing,” Hoffman told reporters after the meeting. “I think it was a healthy debate.”

Hoffman wants the Commission to study the issue of HCAs, and possibly ask the legislature for a fix to clarify the law. Other Commissioners feared, that could further delay a process that’s already behind schedule. The first retail pot shops were supposed to open July 1st of this year.