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Principal Counsel & Attorney-at-Law

Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Licensing

In Massachusetts, both medical and recreational use of marijuana are permitted. The Cannabis Control Commission began accepting applications on April 1, 2018. There are eleven types of licenses for which an entity can apply: (1) Retail; (2) Manufacturer; (3) Cultivator; (4) Craft Marijuana Cultivator Cooperative; (5) Independent Testing Laboratory; (6) Marijuana Courier; (7) Marijuana Delivery Operator; (8) Marijuana Research Facility; (9) Micro-business; (10) Transporter; (11) Standards Laboratory. 

To apply for an adult-use establishment license, an entity must make an account in the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP). An entity uses MassCIP to apply for, update, and renew licenses. To operate in Massachusetts, an establishment must obtain a license from the Cannabis Control Commission. Licenses expire after one year and must be renewed before their expiration.

How to Apply:

  1. Make an account with MassCIP and log into the portal
  2. Click “view more” on the license type page
  3. Click on the “start application” link for the license for which the entity plans to apply.
  4. Fill out the application
  5. All applications have three parts (MassCIP refers to them as packets)
  • Application of Intent packet
  • Background Check packet
  • Management and Operations Profile packet
  • The Commission starts the review process as soon as the application fee and the first packet are submitted, but the application will not be approved until all the materials are submitted.
  • Many applicants chose to start with the Application of Intent.
  • The Application of Intent asks for:
    • Individuals and entities involved with the establishment
    • The establishment's financial recourses and funding sources
    • The property where the establishment will be located
    • The establishment's host community agreement and local outreach
    • How the establishment will positively impact areas of disproportionate impact
  • The Background Check asks for:
    • Information necessary to conduct background checks on all individuals and entities listed in application of intent.
  • The Management and Operations Profile packet asks for:
    • Detailed information about the marijuana establishment including business plans and operating policies and procedures

Application Tips

  • The entity can log out and log in as it wishes, just make sure to “save” at the bottom of each page to preserve any progress.
  • Follow proper formatting because if information is entered in the wrong format, applicant cannot move to the next page.
  1. Phone numbers XXX-XXX-XXXX
  2. Tax ID number XX-XXXXXXX
  • If a required field is skipped, applicant will not be permitted to move on.
  • Once application is submitted, it is locked. If amendment to application is needed, contact the Cannabis Control Commission.
  • Application fee:
    • The portal will calculate the application fee that entity must pay for each application
    • Some of these application fees are fixed such as the Retail Marijuana License: $300 application fee
    • Other application fees are calculated based on the type and size of the establishment. To plan for the application fee, look at fee schedule 500.005 of commonwealth regulations that govern adult use of marijuana in Massachusetts
    • Can pay online (credit card or debit card) or by check
    • Can pay for licenses one at a time or all at once if the entity applies for multiple
  • If application is approved, then the entity must pay the license fee (also accessible in the portal)
  • Entities can also renew their licenses through the portal

Contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. for help obtaining a license.  

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