Massachusetts allots $2M to recreational cannabis commission

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Massachusetts will funnel $2 million into a state marijuana commission tasked with implementing the state’s recreational cannabis law.

The funding is part of a compromise budget lawmakers passed last week.

The budget compromise could lead to the resumption of negotiations between a House-Senate committee on regulations tied to the adult-use marijuana law approved by Massachusetts voters last year. The House Speaker temporarily suspended those talks last week, saying he wanted lawmakers to focus on budget talks.

Some observers said the money budgeted for the marijuana commission isn’t nearly enough.

“The $2 million marijuana … falls far short of the funding necessary to build an effective regulatory structure in the time set by the legislature and the governor,” said Jim Borghesani, a legalization advocate in Massachusetts.

The state’s adult-use industry tentatively is set to launch in the second half of 2018.

The cost of licensing and tracking software – which must be in place before applications can be processed – is estimated at $5.5 million alone, Borghesani added.

Lawmakers have struggled to reach an agreement to finalize the state’s legalization program, causing them to miss their self-imposed June 30 deadline.

There’s no timetable for the resumption of negotiations on the marijuana compromise.

Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily