In 2008 Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis and in 2012 Massachusetts became the 18th state to open Massachusetts cannabis market to medical users through a ballot.
In November 2016, Massachusetts voters approved Question 4, the initiative to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older. In December 2016, the Massachusetts state legislature voted to delay sales of recreational cannabis for six months. Originally, licensing for cannabis shops was set to begin in January 2018, but the delay moved the date and first retail cannabis business opened in Massachusetts in November 2018.
Under the new law, recreational cannabis is taxed 17 to 20%. The baseline tax is 17%, which is determined from a combination of a 6.25% sales tax and a 10.75% special excise tax on adult use. Cities and towns can choose to add a 3% tax on top of the 17%, tallying up to a 20% tax on retail cannabis.
In September 2019, the Cannabis Control Commission approved new regulations for Massachusetts cannabis market, adult and medical use of cannabis programs that introduce new license types – cannabis cafes and home delivery.
As of December 2022, 1,154 (909 in 2021) licenses have been awarded, including 455 retailer, 352 cultivator, 276 manufacturer, 34 microbusiness, 12 transporter, 20 testing and 5 for cooperative and research licenses according to the official data. The review process includes a background check and a 60-day window during which the municipality in which the business hopes to locate must certify that the applicant has met all local requirements.
Cannabis stores sold about $1.93 million worth of cannabis products during the first month and in December 2019 total legal cannabis sales exceeded $246 million, according to figures released by the Cannabis Control Commission. In 2020, Marijuana Establishments generated about $700 million in gross sales despite two months of closures, and in 2021, retail sales exceeded $1.33 billion, while 2022 brought in almost $1.5 billion. Since November 2018, total program revenue to date is over $3.7 billion.
Medical cannabis sales totaled about $315 million in 2021. 2022 brought in about $268 million from 93 cannabis dispensaries. Since March 2019 (medical sales data became available through METRC tracking system), total program revenue to date is about $970 million.
Research from multiple cannabis data and investment firms predict Massachusetts can become such a travel destination.
Massachusetts Cannabis Market Infographics
Cannabis Testing Business Plan Sample, Massachusetts
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