Massachusetts Laws and Regulations

Everything you need to know for cannabis-based businesses

Massachusetts voters chose YES on Question 4 on November 8, 2016, making recreational cannabis legal! Previously Massachusetts was a “medical only” state, but these new laws legalized the use, possession,cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana throughout the entire state.

There are now 4 license types available in Massachusetts:

  1. Cultivator
  2. Manufacturer
  3. Retail
  4. Testing Facility

Starting from October 1, 2017 the Cannabis Control Commission will begin to accept applications for these four license types. If you’re planning on opening a recreational cannabis business in Massachusetts, here’s everything you need to know.


Massachusetts Dispensaries Need to Have Local and State Approval

Before Massachusetts (as a state) grants licenses to applicants, they want the applicants to have a license from the city they will be operating in. In Massachusetts, local towns and municipalities have the option to ban recreational businesses if the local people vote against them. It’s important to keep up with individual city ordinances, and secure a location and city license before they’re all gone. It is important to NOT operate before all licenses are secured, as Massachusetts has made it very clear that recreational businesses are NOT allowed to operate until they have all necessary licenses.

Massachusetts License Fees

Seed-to-Sale Software is Mandatory Throughout Massachusetts

Massachusetts will follow many other recreational states by requiring a seed-to-sale software to track and trace cannabis throughout the state. This program will allow the movement of cannabis to be documented from the moment it’s planted in the ground (by cultivators), to when it’s tested (by testing facilities), to when it’s sold (by dispensaries). This helps eliminate black market deals and keeps the industry safe and regulated. Growers, testing facilities and dispensaries all need to be utilizing seed-to-sale software to apply for a license; licenses are not being granted without the software.

Massachusetts wants to see dispensaries utilizing software to keep track of and control their inventory at all times. Dispensaries also need to utilize software to keep records of their patients. These plans must be put together by all dispensaries before applying for a license in addition to a security plan, patient education plan and financial plan.

Licenses are limited, and the cities are giving them out to the most equipped professionals.