MJ Freeway presented a webinar on May 24th featuring Vicente Sederberg attorney Adam Fine, who heads the firm’s practice in Massachusetts. Fine is bullish on the prospects for the medical cannabis industry in the state after a rough start. He shared some background information on the state’s program before detailing the application process. One key area that he discussed is that the medical cannabis companies are required to be non-profit companies, which adds to the complexity. He concluded with some information regarding the current market as well as the potential legislation to legalize cannabis for adults.
Slightly larger than Colorado, Massachusetts, which passed its medical program in 2012 through a ballot initiative, is a good market in general, according to Fine, as medical cannabis has substantial public support. He discussed the rocky period that followed a very competitive application process that took two years to play out before the program was ready to move forward with a revamped program in 2015. Fine anticipates the patient population could be 120K ultimately due to very liberal rules for qualifying conditions, which would represent strong growth from the current 24K active patients.
The current market is undersupplied, with just 6 registered marijuana dispensaries (RMDs), which are required to be vertically integrated. Some of the entrepreneur-friendly regulations include delivery to patients’ homes, potential co-location between cultivation, production and dispensaries and no residency requirement.
Fine described the application process in detail, which actually limits the number of characters that serves to keep the documents thinner than the applications in other states. He said that site control and local support are some of the most important aspects of the application. Finally, he detailed how management companies can work within the requirements of non-profit status of license holders, including minimizing the impact of 280E (tax).
Massachusetts cannabis update:
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