MA application process for recreational marijuana retailers opens April 2

Medical marijuana entrepreneurs hoping to operate retail stores in Massachusetts can begin applying for licenses next week.

Under the Cannabis Control Commission’s final rules, which went into effect Thursday, prospective dispensary licensees can apply for “priority certification” on April 2, according to Needham TV station WCVB.

Recipients of priority certification as “Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMD) or Economic Empowerment Applicants” will earn a place in line to seek a marijuana business license on April 17, WCVB reported.


Retailers can open as soon as July 1 under the new rules.

The final rules also create eight other license categories:


  • Cultivator
  • Craft marijuana cooperative
  • Microbusiness
  • Product manufacturer
  • Independent testing laboratory
  • Third-party transporter
  • Existing licensee transporter
  • Research facility

Businesses seeking one of those permits may begin applying May 1 or June 1, though the commission didn’t specify which date pertained to which license category.

WCVB noted adult-use applicants may face setbacks because municipalities retain “the final say on whether a business can open” in their jurisdiction.

Once it’s up and running, Massachusetts’ adult-use market is poised to be one of the most lucrative in the nation because it has relatively few restrictions.


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