Massachusetts to resume adult-use cannabis sales

Published Jun 11, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
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Millions of dollars in cannabis revenue for the state of Massachusetts has been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts recreational dispensaries have been closed for about two months now, but Memorial Day saw the green light come to light once more for this state. Legal weed for sale is once again available. The question on many minds, however, is it too little too late for some of the cannabis businesses? What is the long-term damage from these pandemic closures, and who can survive?

Massachusetts was the only state in America that took the move to shut down all Massachusetts recreational dispensaries. Weed for sale was closed entirely in this state. The coronavirus initiated this response from the state to protect the well being of its citizens. Gov. Charlie Baker, in response to the coronavirus, felt that this was how the state could do its part in the battle of the deadly illness.

The governor's strong words shut down Massachusetts recreational dispensaries but allowed the medical marijuana patient access to the needed medicine. Fear that the medicinal cannabis patients would travel outside of the state for their medication may have prompted the decision to allow Massachusetts medical cannabis users to access to their drug within the state. Massachusetts is the only Northeastern state that allows regulated cannabis sales.

Requirements for reopening

Opening day for the Massachusetts recreational dispensaries did not come about without careful planning. As part of the phase one plan to reopen, businesses were required to submit written proposals on methods that they would take to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.  

Hygiene posters were to be displayed, and the implementation of social distancing was paramount for the safety of both staff and customers. As we move forward, the New England Treatment Access (NETA) is looking to permit both medical and recreational sales. However, all orders will need to be placed well ahead of time so that they can limit customer numbers to a maximum of 600 per day.

Hungry for the green herb

Cannabis-related business owners celebrated the reopening of their businesses and rejoiced at the healthy appetite the hungry green consumers displayed. Two months of going without, and finally, we saw the cannabis business sales surge. The hope is that green hunger continues, which will help to rebound the lost revenues from the closures.

Many of the cannabis businesses, like other companies within the state, have struggled to maintain the rents or mortgages that they are responsible for monthly. Utilities and taxes, among other expenses, were still owed on the spaces that the cannabis business operated from with no sales, and this was a huge problem in this state's green space, until now.

Ending thoughts

The Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA) have voiced their appreciation at this gesture and believe that it is reflective of how many are feeling in the cannabis industry. It is important to protect the health and safety of workers and consumers.

According to the CDA, the Massachusetts recreational dispensaries and medicinal cannabis dispensaries have generated over 120 million dollars in revenue. As an added side note, the recreational cannabis industry in this state has created over 8,00 jobs.

Massachusetts is poised for the second phase of opening the economic sector of the state. The in-person sales for every recreational cannabis industry in the state are due to commence sometime after June 8, 2020.

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