Retail marijuana locations are closer to opening in Massachusetts, but the delay has cost the state.
We are now three months past the expected opening date of retail marijuana shops here in Massachusetts, but some are complaining the delay could have been avoided.
Massachusetts voters passed ballot Question 4 in November 2016, legalizing recreational cannabis. The approval raised interest from marijuana retailers.
Governor Charlie Baker decided in December of that same year to extend the start date for recreational marijuana sales to July of 2018 which has since come and gone.
This has frustrated the marijuana industry because they believe the Cannabis Control Commission should have prepared for this deadline.
Attorney for cannabis businesses in Massachusetts Blake Mensing told 22News, “The tax revenue isn’t coming because the CCC failed to anticipate that they would need licensed testing labs to get products on the shelves, and that was a failure of foresight in my opinion.”
Will Luzier, who managed the 2016 “Yes on 4” ballot campaign said Massachusetts has lost roughly $176,000 a day, since July.
The Department of Revenue estimated that state’s marijuana taxes in 2019 could reach up to $82 million but officials are now rethinking that number.
The Commission is prioritizing a proper rollout of the industry, rather than meeting any specific deadline.
The CCC has issued 15 retail licenses, but the stores can’t open until the CCC inspects the property and then votes to issue a final license.
The Commission plans to meet Thursday to discuss the final licensing process for at least one retail marijuana location that has completed inspection.