Applicants & Licensees / Licensing Process
This is a general overview of the licensing process for Marijuana Establishments (MEs) and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs) in Massachusetts.
For more comprehensive information, please refer to the Guidance on Licensure.
Step 1: Review Laws
Research the laws and regulations governing adult-use or medical-use marijuana for more information about the regulatory requirements for licensure in the city or town you wish to operate.
Some municipalities, such as the City of Boston, require additional steps before submitting your application to the Commission. You may wish to speak with the municipality and inquire about the necessary requirements for operating a Marijuana Establishment within the area. View the status of municipal zoning and bylaws by city or town.
Step 2: Make Plans
Begin researching and writing the operational plans for your business—you’ll need these plans later when you submit your application to the Commission. All plans must be compliant with adult-use or medical-use regulations.
Some plans include, but are not limited to: a business plan, a diversity plan, a security plan, a plan for positive impact, and a plan to remain compliant with local codes and ordinances. Each plan should be tailored to your application and include items required in the regulations.
Step 3: Gather Information
Gather information related to the persons and entities who will be listed on the license and who will have control over the business. The persons and entities that must be included in the application are defined by the regulations.
When you are ready to submit your application, you must include identifying information about each person and entity to be listed.
Step 4: Hold a Community Outreach Meeting and Sign a Host Community Agreement
Host a Community Outreach Meeting and work with the municipality on the required Host Community Agreement.
As part of the application process, you must submit evidence that a Community Outreach Meeting occurred and that a Host Community Agreement has been signed with the municipality.
Step 5: Submit Your Application
Submit your application online along with applicable license and background check fees. Visit the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP) to begin the process for an adult-use license application or an MTC license application.
Step 6: Wait for Approval
The Commission will review the application based on its priority status and when it was submitted. Once the Commission reviews the application, the applicant will be notified via email.
Within 90 days of your license application, the Commission will issue either a provisional license or a rejection. The Commission will perform inspections and request that background checks and fingerprinting be performed by all individuals listed on the license.
A certification form will be sent to the host municipality to confirm your establishment is in compliance with local codes and ordinances. Once these steps have been completed, the Commission may consider your application for a final license.
Step 7: Final Inspection
Prior to opening, an additional inspection will then be conducted. Upon review of the inspection report, your establishment will receive a notification that it is allowed to commence operations and start operating as a business.
Have questions about the licensing process? Contact us at 774-415-0200 or Commission@CCCMass.com.
Adult-Use Applications Under Review by Type and Priority Status
State law requires the adult-use cannabis industry in Massachusetts to include participation by small and large participants. The Cannabis Control Commission offers applicants of all sizes the opportunity to contribute through a wide range of licenses types, including cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives, product manufacturers, retailers, research facilities, independent testing laboratories and standard laboratories, transporters, and microbusinesses.
Massachusetts state law requires priority licensing review of Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers who serve patients under the Medical Use of Marijuana Program, as well as defined Economic Empowerment Applicants who have demonstrated residency in, or experience or business practices that promote economic empowerment in, communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana enforcement.
Additional datasets can be found in our Data Catalog.
Please note that all data is self-reported. Commission Open Data disclaimer available here.
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The Cannabis Control Commission conducts meetings and other events to keep you informed.
Subscribe to Our
Sign up for updates from the Cannabis Control Commission.