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How to start a Cannabis and Marijuana business in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Weed Web

How to start a Cannabis and Marijuana business in Massachusetts

As of right now, the state has yet to establish an application process. Recreational stores and facilities may begin applying for licenses by April 2018, and the first licenses will be issued in June, just weeks before the first stores are set to open on July 1st.

Until July 1, 2018, the state shall issue licenses first to applicants with the most experience operating medical marijuana treatment centers and then after that, it will be by lottery among qualified applicants.

What can I do right now?

To get ahead and be prepared for when the state will start licensing marijuana businesses, you should:

  • Read through the regulations and determine what business type you’d like to have.

How to Open a Cannabis or Marijuana Retail Store in Massachusetts?

The state will allow marijuana retail stores to open in Massachusetts. Whether this is possible or not will hinge entirely on the city and/or county of choice as the state allows the local municipalities to ban or place moratoriums on whether to license dispensaries for operation or not.

The fees associated with the applications are as follows:

    • Initial Application shall not exceed $3,000
    • License for retail marijuana store – $15,000
    1. Setup your Marijuana Business Corporate Structure.
    2. Create your Marijuana Retail Business Plan.
    3. Determine your potential location(s) and investigate whether licensing is possible in the prospective cities or counties.
    4. Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your retail store and be completely legal and compliant.
    5. Install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations and then open your doors for business.
    6. Contract with cultivators and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow and produce marijuana products for you, if you don’t want to do it yourself.

How To Grow/Cultivate Marijuana or Cannabis Legally in Massachusetts

Same as Retail Store steps, the only difference is that you will be contracting with dispensaries, delivery services and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow marijuana for them.

The fees associated with the applications are as follows:

    • Initial Application shall not exceed $3,000
    • License for marijuana cultivator – $15,000

How To Start a Marijuana Edibles, Marijuana Infused Products or Marijuana Extractions Business In Massachusetts

Same as Retail Store steps, the only difference is that you will be contracting with dispensaries and delivery services to provide your products to customers as well as contract with cultivators to grow marijuana for you, if you don’t want to do it yourself.

The fees associated with the applications are as follows:

    • Initial Application shall not exceed $3,000
    • License for marijuana product manufacturer – $15,000

 

There are 4 License Types available in Massachusetts: Cultivator, Manufacturer, Retail, and Testing Facility.

• Licensees must meet the standards required for an alcohol licensee, except that a marijuana conviction won’t bar licensure.

• The Cannabis Control Commission can institute an absolute cap on marijuana cultivation statewide.

• There will be a maximum of 75 manufacturers until October 2018 and a max of 75 cultivators until October 2019.

• No delivery services are allowed at this time.

• Licensees must be 500 feet from schools.

Process: When the Cannabis Control Commission receives an application, it will send a copy of the application to the city or town in which the cannabis establishment is to be located. It will then determine whether the applicant and the premises qualify for the license and has complied with this chapter. Within 90 days, the business will be issued an appropriate license, or be informed of the rejection, along with an explanation.

Medical Marijuana: Existing medical marijuana businesses will receive priority licensing, but that preference ends in 2018. If the Commission hasn’t provided for commercial retail by 2018, the existing medical marijuana dispensaries can serve all adults until they do.

Local Control: Localities can regulate time, place, and manner no more restrictively than medical marijuana is regulated. Localities can limit the number of establishments, but complete bans or limits below 20% of off-site alcohol sales licenses or limits below the number of medical marijuana establishments must be approved by voters. Localities can establish nuisance ordinances to restrict cultivation and to restrict signage.

APPLICATION FEES/START-UP COSTS
Initial application: $3,000
• Retail cannabis store: $15,000
• Cannabis product manufacturer: $15,000
• Cannabis cultivator: $15,000
• Cannabis testing facility: $10,000

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