By Globe Staff  March 12, 2018

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After months of debate, the rules for Massachusetts’ recreational marijuana industry are largely set. With sales poised to begin in July, what can consumers expect? Here are quick answers to some frequently asked questions:

When can I buy some weed already?

Sales to adults 21 and older should begin in July. You may have heard that they’ll start on July 1, but that’s not a certainty — it’s merely the earliest possible date for sales to begin, since the state Cannabis Control Commission begins accepting applications for marijuana business licenses on April 1 and then has 90 days to act on them.

Where will I be able to buy marijuana when sales begin?

Most likely, the only places that will have marijuana in stock in July will be some of the 22 currently operating medical dispensaries (along with any that open before July) that win a recreational license, too. But not all medical dispensaries want or will be able to get a recreational license.


It’s also possible some new retail pot shops will be able to open and buy inventory from the existing medical dispensaries, but only if there’s supply to spare.

Why so few?

Three main reasons:

1. It takes 4½ to 6 months to grow a marijuana plant, depending on the technique used. New operators can’t plant their clones or seeds until they get their licenses, meaning they’ll be ready closer to the end of 2018.

2. A bunch of medical dispensaries have promised their communities to remain medical-only, or are having trouble getting local permission to “convert” into hybrid medical-recreational shops. There’s an ongoing legal debate about how binding

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