Recreational Marijuana Licensing Starts in Massachusetts Today

Drying marijuana plants before they are processed for shipping (File image via Reuters)

Businesses in Massachusetts have begun on Monday applying for licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis to adults 21 and older, local media reported.

The sales of recreational marijuana are not immediately effective. But kickstarting the licensing process will lead to the start of sales in July, the Boston Globe reported.  

Businesses now can apply for “priority certification.” The certification would make them eligible to apply for a retail marijuana license on April 17, Masslive reported.

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

Applicants can register as organizations behind nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries or as “economic empowerment” ones. 

“Economic empowerment” applicants are those who can show “experience in business practices” that promote “economic empowerment.”

The “economic empowerment” scheme is to help minority or in low-income or minority communities, who were treated unjustly by the so-called war on drugs during prohibition. 

However, the rest of the license types can start the application on May 1 or June 1, but that also varies, depending on the applicants’ category.

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