Do I need a Cannabis Retail License to Open?

Yes, a license is required for both medical and adult-use dispensaries. Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana in 2012 when voters approved Question 3. In 2016, Massachusetts residents voted to legalize adult-use marijuana by approving Question 4. Statewide retail sales actually began in 2018.

What is the Massachusetts Regulatory Agency?

Massachusetts established the Cannabis Control Commission in 2016 after adult-use was legalized. The CCC is responsible for drafting regulations, managing licensing, and enforcing compliance for the cannabis industry.

How can I apply for a license in Massachusetts?

Cannabis retailers can apply for a license online at the Cannabis Control Commission website using the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal. You’ll be guided through the application process and the application is reviewed during a CCC meeting. Typically, established medical marijuana dispensaries are considered first, but licenses have been slowly rolled out across the state.

How much does a dispensary license cost?

When applying for a dispensary license in Massachusetts, the cost depends on whether you’re applying for an adult-use license or medical marijuana license. Medical Register Marijuana Dispensaries, or RMDs, must pay a $1,500 application fee plus a $30,000 licensing fee. Adult-use cannabis retailers are subject to a $300 application fee and a $5,000 licensing fee to be renewed annually.

Will I need to get local authorization to get a license?

Yes. It’s best to check with your local officials before submitting an application. There are more than 200 townships in Massachusetts that have banned cannabis retailers by implementing a local ordinance.

What are the customer age requirements for Massachusetts?

Adult-use customers must be 21 or older to buy and possess cannabis. Medical marijuana patients 18+ can apply for a state medical marijuana card.

What time can I open and close my dispensary?

Massachusetts cannabis retailers are allowed to make sales between 8am and 6pm EST 7 days a week.

Who do I report to for state compliance?

All licensed dispensaries in Massachusetts are required to report their sales to state regulators using the Metrc Track and Trace system. This process can be automated by a point-of-sale system that is fully integrated with Metrc.

Are there daily purchase limits on cannabis?

Adult-use consumers can purchase up to 1 ounce of dried cannabis flower or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Medical marijuana patients with a state issued MMJ card can buy a 60-day supply of medical cannabis up to 10 ounces.

How do I keep my dispensary compliant?

Keeping your dispensary compliant starts with implementing a POS system that can automate state reporting. Keeping track of inventory, enforcing purchase limits, and making sure your customers are of legal age is imperative to maintaining compliance.

Can I start a delivery service in Massachusetts?

Yes. In November, 2020 the CCC voted in favor of creating a new license for standalone cannabis delivery companies using their own storage facility of products to fulfill orders. Under the old rules, delivery services would only transport products from a licensed dispensary to the customer and charge delivery fees.