Achieving state-level legalization of marijuana is often just the first hurdle for prospective retailers. While Massachusetts legalized the recreational use of marijuana in December 2016, it will apparently be some time before cannabis retail stores open there. On Dec. 30, 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law delaying the date when the Cannabis Control Commission can start issuing licenses.
The Cannabis Control Commission will be the regulatory agency that licenses marijuana retail shops. Baker’s action has forced the state treasurer, who is required to appoint members of the Commission, to push back the date of appointments from March 1, 2017 to Sept. 2017. The bill will also delay the Commission’s placement of initial regulations from Sept. 15, 2017 to March 15, 2018.
Massachusetts is the eighth U.S. state to legalize the use of marijuana, joining California, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The cannabis industry is projected to reach $50 billion in gross retail sales in the next decade.