MA: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Among Entities That Get First Shot At Applying For A Retail Pot Shop License

Photo Credit: Gary Coronado

The still-burgeoning Massachusetts marijuana industry enters a new phase this Monday when prospective licensees can start applying for “priority certification.”

The “priority certification,” as laid out by state regulators, would make them eligible to apply for a retail marijuana license on April 17.

They can apply as organizations behind the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries or as “economic empowerment” applicants.

“Economic empowerment” applicants are defined as applicants who can show “experience in or business practices that promote “economic empowerment” in areas that have been hit hard by high rates of arrest and incarceration due to the prohibition on marijuana.

The rest of the license types can start the application on May 1 or June 1, though that depends on the category they’re in.

On May 1, applicants will be accepted from microbusinesses, cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives and independent testing labs, while on June 1, marijuana retailers, manufacturers and transporters can apply for licenses.

Retail pot shops are slated to open in Massachusetts this summer.

One medical marijuana outfit which owns a dispensary in downtown Boston, has already expressed interest in selling recreational marijuana. Patriot Care, which received approvals for its medical dispensary by promising not to sell recreational marijuana, is now seeking to reverse course, according to WGBH News.

The state currently has 22 medical marijuana dispensaries, which fall under the purview of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, though oversight is scheduled to be transferred before the end of this year.

Massachusetts voters approved marijuana for medical use in 2012, and signed off on a law approving marijuana for recreational use in 2016.