According to the executive director of The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), the CCC could award the first recreational marijuana business license in Massachusetts as early as this week. The CCC is currently reviewing 51 license applications from 28 entities which it has received over the past two months.
On April 2nd, the CCC began reviewing applications from businesses interested in obtaining priority review certification for a recreational marijuana business license. Businesses interested in priority certification were either a registered medical marijuana dispensary (RMD) or qualified for the CCC’s economic empowerment program. The CCC’s economic empowerment program prioritized license applications from applicants whose communities were disproportionately impacted by the previously illicit cannabis industry or who are committed to hiring the majority of their employees from disproportionately affected areas. The economic empowerment program also pertains to applicants whose previous employment opportunities were limited due to minor marijuana possession related crimes.
Obtaining priority review status allows these license applicants to be considered by the CCC ahead of other applicants. 38 of the 51 license applications which the CCC is currently considering qualified for priority review, 35 of them being RMDs and 3 qualifying for the economic empowerment program.
On May 1st, the CCC expanded license applications to cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives, microbusinesses, transporters and independent testing labs. Thus far, 18 cultivators, 3 research facilities, 2 microbusinesses, and 1 person interested in transporting cannabis had completed a license application. Most recently, on June 1st, marijuana retailers and product manufacturers were able to apply for a license. Thus far, 15 marijuana retailers and 12 marijuana product manufacturers have submitted a license application.
The CCC is optimistic that even with a tight schedule, recreational marijuana businesses will open in July of this year. The July deadline only pertains to those interested in cultivating, transporting, researching and selling cannabis for recreational marijuana dispensaries as the CCC has delayed accepting licenses for additional forms of selling cannabis, such as home delivery or social consumption venues such as cafes and nightclubs, until February of 2019.
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