Marijuana Business Magazine - April 2018

MARKET AT A GLANCE Main measure Question 3 Year passed 2012 MMJ business regulations Heavy. Dispensary applicants must go through an extensive, expensive multi- phase application process and meet a host of regulations covering everything from security and advertising to seed-to-sale tracking systems and testing. Dis- pensaries are required to cultivate most of the cannabis they sell – no separate, stand-alone grow operations are allowed – but they can buy limited amounts of marijuana from other dispensaries. Many towns also require that dispensaries wishing to operate within their borders sign “community host agreements” that require them to pay fees that often reach five or six digits. State tax requirements No MMJ-specific taxes defined Sampling of state licensing & application fees Application: $31,500 License: $50,000 (new & renewal) What to watch • Further growth may be in store for Massachusetts’ MMJ program, as revised rules now authorize dispensaries – which grow and process all the MMJ they sell – to cultivate cannabis from plant clippings instead of just seeds and allow nurse practitioners to recommend MMJ. • Nearly 100 dispensaries have provisional certificates from the state, awaiting further inspection and local approval before they’re allowed to sell MMJ. Many of these dispensaries, however, likely have their eye on the state’s recreational market. Registered MMJ dispensaries will be fast-tracked through the recrea- tional licensing process, positioning them to benefit from an anticipated supply shortage once rec sales begin in July. Massachusetts – Medical The number of operating dispensaries in Massachusetts finally reached double digits in 2017, welcome news for a program that’s struggled to overcome licensing bottlenecks at the local level. The expanded access to dispensaries has provided a considerable boost to medical mari- juana sales, as patients purchased more than 260,000 ounces of MMJ in 2017, an 80% jump from the 116,000 ounces sold in 2016. Over 11,000 patients were added to Massachusetts’ MMJ program throughout the year – a 34% increase – with average monthly patient growth coming in at a modest 2.5%. What remains to be seen, however, is how the medical market will progress once recreational sales begin in July. April 2018 • Marijuana Business Magazine • 113