On April 2, 2018, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission began taking applications for adult use or recreational use marijuana licenses. The first eligible to apply are considered “Priority Certifications” and are those businesses that are already registered marijuana dispensaries (RMD) or Economic Empowerment Applicants, which provides eligibility to apply for a marijuana establishment license on April 17. All other license types will start the application process on May 1 or June 1, depending on the category, according to the Commission’s website.

The application process was announced on March 29, 2018 following a vote of the adult use cannabis regulations (935 CMR 500.000) by the Commission and publication in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations. The final regulations include nine license categories for marijuana establishments: cultivator, craft marijuana cooperative, microbusiness, product manufacturer, independent testing laboratory, storefront retailer, third-party transporter, existing licensee transporter, and research facility.

According to reports, the Commission expects to meet the July 1, 2018 deadline for the launch of recreational cannabis sales.

To access the official version of regulation 935 CMR 500.000, contact the Massachusetts Secretary’s State Publications and Regulations Division and the State Bookstore, Room 116, Boston, MA 02133, by calling (617) 727-2834 or you can order online by visiting http://www.sec.state.ma.us/spr/sprcat/catidx.htm.

If you would like to discuss matters related to the Rhode Island or Massachusetts cannabis laws and regulations and the application and licensing process in either state, please contact business attorney and PLDO Partner Benjamin L. Rackliffe at or email Attorney Rackliffe is a leading authority on the medical and recreational marijuana industry and has successfully assisted multiple applicants and cannabis license-holders through the regulatory process. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.