- Massachusetts has a $1.4 billion-a-year legal recreational cannabis business.
- There are nearly 190 marijuana businesses in MA.
- Massachusetts received $74.2 million in tax revenue halfway through the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year.
- The limit an individual can buy or be in possession of is one ounce in MA.
- The average price for an ounce of marijuana in Mass. is $340.62.
- Recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts will reach $1.78 billion in 2022.
- There are 16 recreational marijuana delivery operator licenses in Mass.
- The first cashless payments for recreational marijuana in Mass. came in March 2022.
- There are 200 recreational marijuana dispensaries in the Boston commonwealth.(source)
Massachusetts’ legal recreational cannabis business is growing rapidly into a $1.4 billion-a-year business. Marijuana sales are exploding across the commonwealth. The commonwealth’s main industries include healthcare, education and tourism, so the cannabis business has helped diversify the economy and create new jobs.
There are almost 190 businesses in MA devoted to recreational cannabis. These include retail outlets, wholesale businesses, cultivation facilities and more. These businesses provide jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for residents, as well as tax dollars for the commonwealth. These businesses also thrived through the COVID-19 pandemic, where many people in who worked in restaurants lost their jobs. Cities and towns are also seeing vacant buildings now housing thriving businesses. Because of the climate in Massachusetts, cannabis is usually cultivated inside. Old, abandoned mills are being renovated to growing facilities, improving the landscape and becoming a source of employment for the community once again.
Massachusetts already received $74.2 million in marijuana tax revenue by December 2021, which is only halfway through their fiscal year. By comparison, alcohol takes only brought in $51.3 million. Regulators are determining how to use the money wisely by looking at what other states are doing. For example, Colorado uses their tax revenue to support public schools and California donates their tax revenue to nonprofits waging the war on illegal drugs. Illinois uses their tax revenue to fund multiple programs, including reducing violence on the streets and mental health services.
In Massachusetts, a person over age 21 can only buy one ounce in a retail dispensary. There is a five gram limit on marijuana concentrates. People buying multiple items can have the clerk keep them within the legal limit. It can get confusing as many dispensaries sell flowers, prerolled joints, drinks infused with cannabis, gummies, brownies and more. Residents have to be age 21 or older to even enter an establishment selling marijuana. Visitors to the commonwealth can make a purchase, but they can’t take any cannabis product with them when they leave. Massachusetts airports prohibit any form of cannabis on their properties. Visitors also have to follow the laws, like no public consumption of marijuana or using it on federal land. Hotels and other rentals also can prohibit guests from using marijuana on their property.
One ounce of marijuana in Mass, is $340.62. When cannabis sales began, the average price per ounce was $390.81, and the all-time high was $405 per ounce. Surprisingly, the lowest recorded price per ounce ($299.08) was at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when prices for other consumer goods were rising. In Oregon, people are paying an average of $211 for recreational marijuana. Consumers in Washington D.C, are paying the highest price per ounce in the nation at $598. In Mass., the black market for marijuana is still alive as the prices are significantly lower. Typically, an ounce will last consumers a month.
By the end of 2022, recreational marijuana sales will reach 1.78 billion. This is up from $445 million in 2018. Every year the figure rises; by 2025, sales are expected to reach $2.6 billion. The dense population of Mass., with a population of over 883 per square mile, helps fuel sales. There are also many tourists and business travelers who come to Mass. each year, which helps fuel sales. With these projections, companies are flocking to buy buildings in Mass. A retail store in Worcester recently sold for $13.5 million. Nature’s Remedy of Massachusetts, which consists of two retail locations and one production and cultivation facility, was bought by a Florida company for $110 million. The steadily rising sales are bringing massive investments to the state.
The are 16 current licenses in Mass. for delivering recreational marijuana and six pending. The Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission issues the licenses which allow delivery operates to have multiple vehicles for deliveries. Customers can place their order and a delivery person wearing a body cam will check the customer’s ID at the door. There must be two employees in each unmarked delivery vehicle, and the marijuana must be kept in a lockbox. This helps keep the delivery employees safe from being robbed.
Dreamer Cannabis in Southampton accepts cashless payments starting in March 2022. The dispensary uses a POS system that works similar to an ATM. Before, customers had to pay with cash as major credit card companies and most banks ban transactions on cannabis. The payment platform is an app that can be downloaded on a phone and customers sign in and are able to use a credit card to fund the transaction. The payments are coded as ATM cash transactions and the dispensary has to round up the amount to something an ATM would give and then give the customer the difference. This is ideal for customers who don’t want to carry cash on them.
Mass. currently has 200 recreational marijuana dispensaries. The dispensaries are not evenly distributed throughout the commonwealth, though. Communities can’t ban medical marijuana, but they can ban shops selling recreational cannabis. Towns can do this with a general municipal bylaw. Cities and towns can also regulate the number of recreational marijuana establishments.