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Massachusetts

CANNABIS DISPENSARY REGULATIONS FOR MASSACHUSETTS

The Cannabis Control Commission is responsible for regulating and overseeing licensees that operate in the legal adult-use and medical-use marijuana markets in Massachusetts. Their duties include reviewing applications and issuing licenses for Marijuana Establishments (MEs) for adult-use and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs) for medical-use, which were formerly known as Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMDs). The Commission aims to help applicants and licensees navigate the application and licensing processes, as well as ensuring they remain compliant with all relevant laws, regulations, and policies.

Initial application fee for a marijuana retailer license is $1500 and the annual license fee is $10,000 per year. The same fees apply to social consumption establishments and marijuana delivery operators as well. Further, the application fee for a marijuana treatment center is $3500. However, certain fees are waived automatically for Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants (EE), Social Equity Program Participants (SEP), and Minority-, Women-, and Veteran-owned businesses (DBE) that meet certain eligibility criteria.

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CANNABIS LEGALIZATION HISTORY IN MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts has a history of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use. The state first legalized medical marijuana in 2012, allowing patients with qualifying medical conditions to access and use cannabis for medical purposes.

In November 2016, voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, making Massachusetts one of the first states in the East Coast to do so. Under the law, adults aged 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of marijuana or its equivalents, and can grow up to six plants for personal use.

Retail sales of recreational marijuana began in November 2018, with the state generating significant tax revenue from cannabis sales. Massachusetts has also implemented social equity provisions in its cannabis regulations, such as prioritizing licenses for those from communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Additionally, the state has taken steps to expunge criminal records for individuals with non-violent cannabis-related offenses.

By the end of 2020, more than 80 stores were open, and the state had logged more than $1 billion in sales, generating an estimated $170 million in state tax revenue. Overall, Massachusetts has embraced cannabis legalization and regulation, allowing for both medical and recreational use while also promoting social equity in the industry.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.