Massachusetts Creates Final Rules for July 1st Start of Recreational Sales

No Social Consumption Lounges in 2018 for Massachusetts

Massachusetts voters approved the sale and use of recreational marijuana back in 2016 and now the state has published its final rules for the beginning of sales set to start on July 1st. The Bay State is likely to be the main hub for marijuana in all of New England even though the rest of the region has either legalized adult-use cannabis or is in some stage of legalizing its use. The other New England states like Vermont and New Hampshire are prohibiting the sale of cannabis.

Even though voters and committees have approved social consumption clubs and delivery of marijuana, those rules were not included for July and will be addressed again sometime next year. Social consumption lounges are a major point of controversy for states that have legalized cannabis and nobody seems to want to be the first to let them open.

-Social consumption and home delivery is off the table until at least next year. The commission voted 4-1 against including those activities last month. The panel did indicate they would revisit the social-use conversation in October.

-Currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries must set aside 35 percent, or a six-month average of their medical cannabis sales, for medical only sales. Medical patients will also be allowed express service at the dispensaries.

-Cultivation sites are capped at 100,000 square feet. A tiered system will allow cultivators to decide how much product they want to grow. Cultivators in their chosen tier must demonstrate to the commission they have sold 70 percent of their product to maintain the license for that tier – if they do not they will be bumped to the appropriate tier.

-Individuals convicted of trafficking hard drugs – all drugs other than cannabis – need not apply. Although, those with such convictions can obtain licenses to work in the industry so long as they are not touching the plant.

If Maine can ever get their act together, they are supposed to be offering the sale of recreational marijuana as well, but current legislators do not support legalization as strongly as Maine voters. Will Massachusetts become a major tourism spot for marijuana enthusiasts?


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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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