Massachusetts Cannabis License Solutions

Our experienced team at Cannabis License Experts (CLE) will assist you in obtaining your Massachusetts cannabis license quickly and with an unrivaled success record. Having to repeat your Massachusetts cannabis license application procedure can set your business back by months and substantially reduce your earning potential. Book your free consultation today and let us show you how we’ll help you on your path to a Massachusetts cannabis license and much more.

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Currently the largest Northeast market, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has one of the most simple and efficient licensing processes of all legal states. With several highly competitive local operators and significant presence of MSOs, this state represents some of the best operators across the country in an environment with virtually no caps on license numbers.

On November 8, 2016, Bay State voters approved the ballot initiative to end cannabis prohibition with 2018 marking the first retail sales with over 80 locations open by the end of 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the state's reopening plan, recreational marijuana stores are now permitted to take online and phone orders as well as offer curbside pickup to customers with home delivery beginning in 2021. Current issues being considered legislatively include Potency Caps with limits serving sizes, flavors and levels of THC, raising age restrictions, and additional bills being discussed on proposals to tighten package labeling rules as well as create "open marijuana container" law for drivers.

Book a free consultation today to learn more about how Cannabis License Experts can assist you and your team on the path to licensure within Massachusetts.

Licensing Requirements, Timelines, and Selection of Cannabis Licenses’ in Massachusetts

Receiving cannabis licensing in Massachusetts for any Massachusetts cannabis operation is one of the most standardized, transparent, and straightforward processes of all legal states in the US. While nuances may exist and vary between jurisdictions, the submission and processing of all State licensing applications is consistent for every applicant and specific to the license type. Applicants must submit the license application fee and all three (3) sections of the application. The Commission’s regulations are specific to each license type, location, and scale. The adult- and medical-use license applications essentially require the same components. Licensing for the State of Massachusetts is overseen by the Cannabis Control Commission.

Massachusetts is a dual licensing state, meaning both a local and state Massachusetts cannabis license is required before operations can be fully licensed to commence. Applicants must first receive approval and licensing from their city or town with a Host Community Agreement before approaching the State for licensure. Once the Host Community Agreement is set up, applicants can go to the Cannabis Control Commission to officially start the process of becoming a licensed establishment. Cannabis license applicants in Massachusetts may wait up to 18 - 24 months before they are able to obtain their license.

Note: No single entity or company is allowed more than 3 licenses per person/company allowed as well as a strong emphasis on Social Equity and minority priority licensing.
Retailer (Dispensary) 379 24
Cultivator (All Tiers) 285 29
Marijuana Delivery Operators 48 3
Marijuana Courier 75 15
Independent Testing Lab 14 3
Standards Laboratory N/A N/A
Marijuana Research Facility N/A N/A
Microbusiness 23 3
Product Manufacturer 218 18
Transporter 1 4

Hear from Our Successful Clients

Some of the World’s Largest Brands have Trusted CLE to Support their Cannabis Journey.

5 Star Google Reviews

Matthew Caton Yield Cannab

Canna License Experts, and their team were retained by our company to help us along the way with a retail canna license. Brian Wolf along with Kalpna Mistry and their team of experts were there the entire way through the process. Thanks again to Brian and Kalpna for all you support from our family at YIELD Cannab Co.

Lin Yan GMLL Pharma

We have contacted a few licensing company before I decided to contact with Canna licensing Experts. So far I think I have made the right choice and I am happy with the work they have done for us. The team answer questions promptly and never leave us alone. Not to mention their charge are reasonable comparing the similar type of consulting company and quality of their job.

Joseph Dow Dow Testing Labs

Brian and Kalpna at Cannabis License Experts were very pleasant, informative, and knowledgeable regarding licensing. They helped us fill out all the forms needed and guided us through the entire process. I am sure that without their guidance our application would still be in process, or have been dismissed because of some missing information.

Financial Requirements

Common for most jurisdictions as a mandatory component of the Massachusetts Cannabis License application is the requirement for a minimum amount of liquid cash on hand to ensure that applicants have the financial wherewithal from the licensing process through to the initial 2-5 years of operation. General requirements for cannabis license applications include bank statements, CPA letters, Letter of Credit, or similar documentation. Additionally, a 2-3 year Pro Forma is also submitted as a component of the formal Business Plan. Applicants shall disclose the amounts and sources of capital resources. Licensing Fees can range greatly depending on the license type and size of establishment from $200 to as much as $50,000. Unless otherwise specified, all fees are non-refundable and cannot be waived.

Note: Certain fees are also waived for Craft Marijuana Cooperatives and Microbusinesses. Community Host Fee may also include a community impact fee of up to 3% of sales.
Financial Requirements Massachusetts Cannabis License application

Massachusetts Cannabis License Types

All license types, including consumptions lounges, events licensing, and distribution. Vertical operations available in some areas. 
Massachusetts Cannabis License Types
While many cities create their own cannabis departments and/or licensing team to approve new operators, other jurisdictions utilize third parties to impartially and equitably rank each potential new cannabis business. Third party reviewers are only authorized for Background Authorization Forms including CORI Acknowledgement Form, Disclosure and Acknowledgment Form and Release Authorization Form.
With Fenway Park, the Ivy League presence of Harvard, and major league sports defining this historic US city, Boston is one of the hottest, most profitable big city markets on the East Coast.
Basic Demographic Information
Resources include the US Census Bureau,, and any additional relevant resources.
Total # of Counties14
Total # of Cities/Towns251 * incorporated cities (59) and towns (292)
Median Age
Medial Income
Median Home Price
Fair Market Rent

Cape Cod and The Islands

In total, Barnstable County has 21 licensing applications, including for retail, manufacturing and cultivating, according to the Cannabis Control Commission. Thirteen of those applications are for cannabis retail licenses. The industry had a slow start on the Cape with the first medical marijuana dispensary opening in Mashpee in 2018 followed by the first recreational shop in 2020 in Provincetown. By 2021, three recreational stores opened in Provincetown, two in Wellfleet and one in Eastham as well as a medical dispensary in Sandwich.

Median Age


Medical Income


Median Home Price


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Country Population in 2019

Business Climate Cannabis Licensing

Business Climate

Overall, the majority of the state has embraced the formal legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use. With few notable exceptions, licensing of all cannabis operations continues to be moving at a reasonable pace.

Massachusetts ranks favorably for access to capital, technology, and innovation but lower regarding the high cost of doing business and above average housing costs. Tourism is a major economic force driven by historical destinations, beaches, and the overall large presence of major league sports including the Red Sox, Celitcs, Bruins, and Patriots.

Real Estate & Zoning

Consideration for regional and local zoning with regard to allowed proximity to certain business types, schools, and other prohibited areas. This section will also address if possession of real estate is required for Massachusetts cannabis licensing prior to application submission. Zoning issues also can be a challenge for marijuana license applicants and require certain distances from schools and other businesses. As of 2021, 106 towns had either a permanent ban or moratorium in place on cannabis establishments.

Note: Possession of real estate is a requirement for licensure.
Real Estate Zoning Massachusetts cannabis licensing

One-Stop Business Solutions Provider

When you partner with CLE, you are able to leverage our proven knowledge and best industry resources to provide you a complete Cannabis Business Solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis cultivation is the process of growing cannabis within a regulated environment for the consumption via a medical or adult-use cannabis program. Generally cultivation refers to the agricultural activities associated with the propagation and growing of cannabis. Cannabis processing is when you manufacture finished cannabis products, packaging of dried flowers or manufacture and package cannabis-based products (i.e. extracts, edibles, and topicals). To be able to produce cannabis and cannabis derived products commercially a specific license is required, requirements depend on the state in which you are locating this business.
Massachusetts application fee for cannabis cultivation licenses ranges from $100 – $2,000 and the annual licensing fee ranges from $625 – $50,000 depending on the cultivation type and canopy size. Also facility build out costs vary greatly depending on the type of cannabis cultivation facility (indoor, mixed-light green house, outdoor). Depending on the facility type a cultivation facility can range from 2 million to 20 million dollars in total investment costs. To get an understanding of the requirements for starting a cannabis cultivation in Massachusetts please book a consultation with our team at Cannabis License Experts.
Yes, Massachusetts offers eligible individuals to take part in their state run Social Equity Program (SEP) dedicated to cannabis operators. This program creates paths within the cannabis industry for individuals impacted by cannabis prohibition, disproportionately arrests, and incarceration. This program gives assistance through education, waived fees, expedited application review, and access to exclusive license types that aren’t yet available to the general public.
Yes, while home delivery has been part of the Massachusetts medical program for some time, the state decided to start allowing delivery for adult-use facilities in 2020. The state offers two different types of delivery licenses: the Marijuana Delivery Operator license and the Marijuana Courier license. The main difference between the two licenses is that the Marijuana Courier License does not allow for the storage of cannabis and cannabis derived products overnight. Additionally the state offers Delivery Endorsements which are available to only Marijuana Microbusinesses that have a majority ownership that is of Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants and/or Social Equity Program Participants for the first 36 months of the first delivery license being issued.
Yes, cities and towns can limit or out-right ban cannabis facilities from locating in their jurisdiction. If a town voted yes on question #4 which legalized adult-use cannabis during the 2016 election that town must pass the ban through a ballot referendum allowing the citizens of the town to vote for or against the decision to ban cannabis businesses.

Don't Know Where To Begin? Get Started Now

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis at the state level and new jurisdictions are consistently developing ordinance’s designing the framework for licensing at the local level.
CLE can develop a preliminary business and feasibility plan to help give an understanding of business viability within the local climate. We also provide you with insights and develop strategies with respect to facility design, construction, security compliance and digital marketing to get you sales ready.
In order to get started, reach out to one of our regulatory experts today to learn more about Cannabis Business Solutions.
Cannabis License
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