10 Data Points That Paint A Picture Of The Mass Cannabis Industry Right Now

A thousand-plus licenses approved, hundreds more pending, county breakdowns, employee demographics, and more

We may not always be too kind in our reporting on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, but that doesn’t mean its commissioners and employees aren’t working extremely hard to wrangle an unprecedented industry under tremendous pressure.

And while the agency lacks adequate transparency as a result of complications querying its own systems along with mass confusion when it comes to common standards around testing data, the CCC still manages to produce lots of helpful information. And since critical data may get lost in the noise during the body’s marathon meetings during which critical info presented, we thought it could be helpful to excerpt some useful numbers from their troves

Whether you’re a cannabis executive and bean counter who follows this stuff closely already, a budtender behind a counter, or the person walking up to counters looking for deals, these data points together hopefully provide a bigger picture of the growing industry than any subjective perspective could offer.

  • There have only been four license applications denied out of nearly 11,000 submitted to the CCC across all categories to date.

  • Nearly 1,300 licenses have been approved. As for the rest: 1,289 have been withdrawn, while nearly 8,000 are incomplete.

  • Of the 1,286 adult-use licenses approved, the most (491) are for dispensaries (“Marijuana Retailer”), while 373 are for cultivators and 295 are product manufacturers.
Data via CCC
  • The least-licensed categories are Marijuana Research Facility (2) and Craft Marijuana Cooperative (4). (CCC members addressed potential changes to the craft program at last week’s meeting; stay tuned to Talking Joints Memo for updates on that front).

  • Of the 217 applications that are currently awaiting CCC review, nearly a quarter (53) are for Marijuana Cultivator licenses, with the same number pending for dispensaries and the rest mostly broken down between various delivery subcategories.

  • As for where establishments are located, Worcester County rocks the house with 282 licenses (at least provisional) across categories, accounting for almost 22% of commonwealth cannabis businesses.
Data via CCC
  • Don’t sleep on Bristol, Hampden, or Plymouth counties though, with all hovering around the half-million population mark and hosting more than a hundred provisional approvals plus licensees in each including plenty of dispensaries to compete for those hundreds of thousands of heads.

  • Whether you’re shopping for adult-use or a patient in need of meds, you’re best situated in the state’s most populous county, Middlesex, where in addition to 76 dispensaries for more than 1.6 million people there are currently 28 Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.
Data via CCC
  • The CCC has approved more than 22,000 Marijuana Establishment Agents to work as everything from sales associates to chefs in kitchens making edibles. Of that group: 15,027 (67.5%) identify as White, while only 1,843 (8.3%) identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish, and 1,411 (6.3%) identify as Black or African American, and 445 (2%) identify as Asian. Also of note: 2,595 (11.7%) declined to provide their race/ethnicity.

  • Of the 1,485 licenses the CCC has approved across all categories: 82 (5.5%) are Women-Owned; 21 (1.4%) are Veteran-Owned; 136 (9.2%) are Minority-Owned; 11 (.7%) are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender Owned; 2 (.1%) are Disability-Owned; and 105 (7.1%) have owners who identify as two or more of those Disadvantaged Business Enterprise types.