The green rush is on in Massachusetts.
At least a dozen companies have already sprouted up to assist patients, help communities develop regulations and guide local entrepreneurs interested in starting dispensaries and grow operations. At the same time, existing businesses such as law firms and consultancies have expanded or refocused to tap the state’s nascent MMJ market.
Aside from homegrown companies, cannabis businesses from other MMJ states are setting up offices in Massachusetts, creating an industry blueprint for how ancillary medical marijuana firms can expand nationally.
The flurry of business activity highlights the opportunities in new medical cannabis states such as Massachusetts, which earlier this month legalized MMJ. Several other states – including Arizona, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island – are paving the way for the opening of dispensaries as well.
Massachusetts must still hammer out rules and regulations governing dispensaries and cultivation sites, a process that could take many months. But entrepreneurs hoping to open their own cannabis centers and grow operations in these states are clamoring for guidance and advice.
“Since the election, my life has changed,” said Richard Evans, a partner of EvansCutler Attorneys. “Before, I had a busy but manageable law practice. Now I have two busy law practices: In addition to the previous one, EvansCutler has been inundated with inquiries from folks wanting to open a dispensary and seeking counsel under the new Massachusetts law.”
Evans said he’s also heard from “folks looking to open hydroponic stores, owners of empty industrial buildings looking for tenants, and, of course, other lawyers looking to work with us.”
Here’s a sampling of other MMJ businesses that are capitalizing on the new market in Massachusetts:
Hill Law: This Cambridge-based law firm – which was founded in 2008 – is looking to help communities and municipalities tweak zoning bylaws and establish regulations on the industry to prepare for the launch of dispensaries.
Vicente Sederberg: One of the top MMJ law firms in Colorado, Vicente Sederberg worked closely with the Massachusetts legalization campaign and now has an office in the state offering legal services, guidance and advice to help locals navigate the new law.
MedBox: This California-based publicly traded firm – which sells automated cannabis dispensing machines and related technology – is opening an office in Massachusetts that will serve as a “mock dispensary” and offer advice to those hoping to open an MMJ center.
CannaMed of Boston: CannaMed, which provides MMJ recommendations to patients and has four locations in California, has opened a franchise location in Boston and is now booking appointments for the middle of December and beyond.
Other out-of-state companies – including Greengro Technologies and Growlife Inc. of California and Denver-based Dixie Elixirs & Edibles – have also signaled that they are gearing up to enter the market as well.
This is just the tip of the iceberg: Expect dozens of additional support businesses to open in the weeks and months to come.
Image credit: 401(K) 2012 via flickr