November 9, 2016
Cannabis has been legalized in Massachusetts. Although, it’s important to note that Question 4 – the law legalizing marijuana – doesn’t actually start until December 15, 2016. This is great for growers of all kinds, as those looking to grow commercially or as a hobby can work towards perfecting the growing process.
As of December 15, residents will be permitted to produce their own cannabis from home. There is a limit of six plants per person, and home growers are required to make sure their operation cannot be seen from outside the premises.
Those looking to grow on a commercial scale or start a cannabis-related business will have to pay licensing fees. The initial application will be $3,000, while a license for a retail store, cultivation or product manufacturing facility will be $15,000. Testing facilities will also have to pay a $10,0000 licensing fee.
The one caveat to adopting Question 4 is that municipalities will have the option of banning grow operations and retail stores if they choose to. City councils will not be able to do this on their own, as a full, public vote will be required to ban growing and retail.
As for possession, residents must be 21 or older to possess, and they will be limited to one ounce in public and ten ounces at home. Five grams of concentrate will also be permitted. No delivery services or public consumption will be permitted.
Massachusetts has also set an interesting tax on adult-use cannabis. While Colorado taxed at nearly 30 percent and Washing at nearly 40 percent, Massachusetts will tax cannabis at a modest 3.75 percent.
The state will also establish the Cannabis Control Commission. The commission will oversee and regulate the industry. It will have three members, and will have no more than two members from the same political party. The 15 member Cannabis Advisory Board will be made up of industry experts in order to address any issues that arise.