There Are More Than 1,600 Cannabis Biz Licenses In The Mass Pipeline

Nearly a third of them have been approved to commence operations. The rest are processing. 

Per an executive director’s report shared at today’s Cannabis Control Commission public meeting, there are currently 1,678 recreational cannabis business licenses in play in the Bay State.

Those applications represent 921 separate entities across more than 10 designated categories, covering everything from large cultivators to dispensaries, delivery operators, and craft cooperatives (but not medical dispensaries, though some rec shops also serve patients).

Licenses approved by category as of April 14, 2023 | Data via CCC

Of that massive lot, which includes those at the very early stages with pending initial applications, as of April 14, 523 have been approved to commence operations. That’s 143 new approved cannabis businesses in Mass since April 2022.

Of the 1,454 businesses that are either already approved to operate or have pre-certification endorsements or provisional approvals (the graphic above includes provisionals but excludes pre-cert endorsements), 104 are Economic Empowerment applicants, 296 come from the state’s Social Equity Program, and 230 are classified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.

“Price point continues to be an observation point for us,” CCC Executive Director Shawn Collins said while presenting the numbers. “We’re looking at $7, $8 a gram. There are other jurisdictions that have lower price points, but that’s not a race we want to win. So again, it’s just worth noting that the supply chain continues to grow, it continues to expand, but it’s worth watching, especially as folks face business pressures.”

Regarding the extra hurdles faced by Social Equity applicants in the increasingly competitive climate, CCC Chair Shannon O’Brien said the agency is prioritizing “not just providing training and doing things that support people, but [asking], How do we make sure there is impact?

Other data points that were highlighted include: “4 applications awaiting first review; 13 applications for Commission consideration; 16 applications awaiting supplemental review; 95,659 certified active [medical marijuana] patients.” Additional reporting from this month’s meeting to follow at