Massachusetts voters approved marijuana legalization on Election Day 2016. Question 4 passed with 53.66% of the vote, making Massachusetts one of four states to approve marijuana legalization in 2016 (others were California, Maine, and Nevada). As with all approved state marijuana legalization initiatives, Massachusetts moved from election mode to the rule-making phase of the process.
California gets a lot of hype for its cannabis industry, and rightfully so given its industry’s size. However, Massachusetts could be an enormous market as well, specifically Boston. Massachusetts only has a fraction of the population that California does, but because of the populations in surrounding states. Without other major population centers becoming legal, Boston would be the number 1 cannabis industry hub for many people in the New England area. Consumers would no doubt come from miles around to make purchases in Boston.
Boston’s market is going to be massive, and as such, people are going to be scrambling to obtain a lucrative cannabis industry license there. Massachusetts regulators (which includes freedom fighter Shaleen Title!!) announced yesterday that draft industry rules should be released by the end of December. Per the Boston Globe:
The Cannabis Control Commission is pushing to write a first draft of new rules permitting the legal sale of marijuana in Massachusetts by the end of the year, setting up a frenetic month that will shape the recreational pot industry.
The commission announced Tuesday that it plans to file initial regulations by Dec. 29. Among numerous details, they will spell out the criteria for winning dispensary licenses, rules for marijuana consumption bars, and a plan for ensuring diversity in the industry.
The commission said the near-term deadline is necessary if it hopes to have final regulations officially in place by March 15, as required by law. The next deadline comes soon after, on April 1, when companies can begin applying for licenses. Pot sales are expected to begin around July 1.
I have never been to Boston, but I will definitely be planning a trip there after legal sales begin next year. It will be interesting to see how Massachusetts’ proposed industry regulations compare to regulations in other legal states. State approved legal cannabis sales for adult use are already underway in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada. California will allow sales soon, and Maine is still in limbo ever since its terrible Governor vetoed a cannabis industry regulation bill.