The Massachusetts Cannabis Commission (CCC) announced the state sold $2.3 billion worth of cannabis in the three years since the first adult-use dispensaries opened in 2018, the Boston Herald reports. Voters legalized adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts in 2016.
“That’s a pretty phenomenal number and you know, I think on top of the numbers, one of the things I’m proudest of is just how smooth the rollout has been and the growth of this industry. There’s certainly been some things that have happened along the way, but for the most part, it’s been an extraordinarily smooth rollout and I would compare it favorably to any other state that either preceded us or opened at the same time we did.” — CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman, via the Herald
Since 2017, the state has issued 945 cannabis licenses. According to the CCC, there are 379 (176 open) retailers, 285 (62 open) cultivators, and 218 (55 open) processors in Massachusetts. The CCC gave the green light to 14 independent labs, of which eight have been cleared to begin testing. The state’s adult-use cannabis sector employs more than 17,000 employees, while medical cannabis employs roughly half that, 8,800, according to the report.
Hoffman said that despite these impressive numbers, helping those people who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs remains a focus of the CCC, and more work still needs to be done.
“We all recognize we have lots more to do to meet our legislative mandates, to live up to our mission statement, to meet our commitment of making Massachusetts the role model for this industry for the entire country,” Hoffman said. “So we do have a lot of work to do.”