On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts legalized the adult use cannabis industry. Massachusetts marijuana laws allow residents can apply for a cultivation license to start a cannabis business. Such license also allows the entity to transfer cannabis to other licensed establishments, but not to consumers.
Massachusetts cannabis Cultivators are limited to three licenses that are tied to one location. Licensees may not have more than 100,000 square feet of canopy. This canopy may span across no more than three licenses.Cultivators must select their cultivation tier which determines the square footage of the canopy that can be cultivated and the associated licensing fee that must be paid.
The process of obtaining a cultivation license in Massachusetts can be daunting. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know.
This is a general overview of the licensing process for Marijuana Establishments (MEs) and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs) in Massachusetts.
Applications for a Massachusetts cannabis cultivation license must be submitted to the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). The CCC will review the application and make sure it is complete. If it is, the CCC will then send it to the local governing body for approval after a community outreach meeting.
The local governing body has 60 days to approve or deny the application. If approved, the CCC will issue the license. If denied, the applicant can appeal to the state marijuana Control Commission.
There are four tiers of cultivation licenses in Massachusetts:
1. Cultivation Tier 1 – up to 6,000 square feet of canopy
2. Cultivation Tier 2 – up to 10,000 square feet of canopy
3. Cultivation Tier 3 – up to 25,000 square feet of canopy
4. Cultivation Tier 4 – more than 25,000 square feet of canopy
Cultivation licenses are valid for two years and must be renewed.
The application fee for a Cultivation Tier 1 license is $1,500., for a Cultivation Tier 2 license is $3,000. Fee for a Cultivation Tier 3 license is $5,000. Fees for a Cultivation Tier 4 license is $10,000.
It is important to note that these fees are per license and not per cultivation site. So, if you have three Cultivation Tier 1 licenses, the fee would be $4,500.
If you are a Cultivation Tier 4 licensee and want to expand your canopy size, you must apply for a new Cultivation Tier 4 license.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Commission has received a large number of applications, and it may take some time before you receive your license.Be patient and stay up to date on the latest news from the CCC.
Craft Marijuana Cooperative
A craft cooperative is a specific type of cannabis cultivator; like the standard cultivators, they can grow, package, process cannabis for sale to other cannabis establishments but not to the general public. Coops are limited to a total canopy of 100,000 square feet and must abide by the same restrictions around locality and number of licenses as standard cultivators. There are no specific fees associated with becoming a craft cooperative, but they must meet the same application requirements as standard cultivators.
Marijuana Establishment: A marijuana establishment is any business that sell marijuana or marijuana products, either directly to consumers or to other establishments. This includes cultivation facilities, processors, and retailers.Cannabis businesses fall into one of three categories based on their size: small, medium or large.
Each category has its own set of regulations governing everything from licensing to advertising
Craft Marijuana Cooperatives A craft marijuana cooperative means that the cultivator is comprised of residents of the Commonwealth and is organized as an LLC, LLP, or a cooperative corporation under the Commonwealth laws.