Marijuana in Massachusetts: 218 applications roll in at Cannabis Control Commission
A day after essentially opening for businesses, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission said they saw 218 applications come in for retail pot shop licenses.
The applications are for “priority certification,” meaning they get the first chance at the retail licenses. Monday was the first day “priority certification” was available.
Out of those 218, there were 89 applications from entities that operate nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries.
The rest of the applications come from “economic empowerment” applicants, meaning applicants who show experience working in areas that have affected by high rates of arrest and incarceration thanks to the ban on marijuana.
Shawn Collins, the executive director of the commission, released the numbers at a meeting in downtown Boston on Tuesday.
The commission’s website for applications went live on Monday, which commission chair Steve Hoffman called a “seminal” day for the new agency.
The agency was created through a November 2016 ballot question approved by voters, broadly legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
“By no means are we declaring victory,” he said, noting the commission still faces a long road to the opening of retail pot shops this summer.
Depending on the category, other entities will be able to apply for licenses in the coming months: Starting May 1, applicants will be accepted from microbusinesses, cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives and independent testing labs.
On June 1, marijuana retailers, manufacturers and transporters can apply for licenses.