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Massachusetts Begins Process of Certifying Marijuana Businesses for July Commercial Sales

Priority Certifications are being Offered to Low-Income and Minority Communities

Massachusetts is counting down the time to July 1st when recreational marijuana sales are set to begin. Voters approved marijuana legalization in 2016 and the state has been both thorough and steady in its implementation of its rules for commercial sales. On April 2nd the Cannabis Control Commission started accepting applications for priority certification which is being offered to established medical marijuana dispensaries and those looking to setup for commercial sales in low-income communities.

Estimates are difficult to judge on what kind of a turnout there will be for Massachusetts adult-use cannabis sales come July 1st. What kind of tax revenue they will generate over time is challenging to figure out as well considering they will be the only New England state offering commercial sales of marijuana for the time being. Being the only real hub for adult-use marijuana in all of the northeast may draw many people to the Bay State, but only time will tell.

Operators of medical marijuana dispensaries seeking to expand into commercial sales are eligible for priority certification, as are prospective cannabis businesses that seek to operate in low-income or minority communities that were disproportionately affected by the so-called war on drugs.

According to regulations approved by the commission, those granted priority certification can then apply for commercial licenses on April 16.

A focus on developing marijuana business in minority and low-income communities is not just a focus of Massachusetts, but other states have similar initiatives to combat the disparity in arrests and convictions of minorities for low-level marijuana crime to make up for the social injustice that has befallen so many people due to the federal prohibition of marijuana. The Marijuana Justice Act, sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, is a bill intended to hit at the heart of the social injustice caused by the illegality of cannabis around the nation.

read more at boston.com

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