The Massachusetts cannabis industry is meeting and surpassing the expectations of seasoned market analysts. The state recently announced that the industry has exceeded the $2 billion mark.
The executive director of the Massachusetts Cannabis Commission (CCC), Shawn Collins announced last Wednesday that licensed dispensaries within the state have made $2,009,478 in gross sales since the industry was established in 2018.
The commission makes use of Metrc to track all the seed-to-sale data recorded by registered dispensaries in the state.
Recreational Cannabis Sales in Massachusetts
Massachusetts was the first state on the East Coast to approve the establishment of adult-use stores.
Residents in the state voted for the recreational sales of cannabis to be approved four years ago. The first licensed sales began in November 2018.
In the first year, there were only 33 adult-use retailers, I’m the second, the number grew to 91.
Currently, the total number of cannabis retailers in the state is more than 160 and there are three delivery businesses licensed to operate within the cannabis industry in the state.
The industry boasts of over 16,000 active employees. Employees are required to be registered with the CCC. The agency disclosed that as of August 2021, the industry employee was made up of 35% females and 65% males.
The majority of the employees at 73% are white, just 7% of the total employees are Hispanic, Spanish, or Latin, 6% are of black heritage or African American.
Road to $2 Billion
In the first year of recreational sales from November 2018 to November 2019, the industry generated less than $400 million in gross sales. Throughout 2019, the state’s cannabis commission disclosed that licenses totaled around $445 million.
The first billion was recorded on November 3, 2020, that’s two years after the first retail sales started. This was reached despite the industry being shut down for almost two months during the early points of the mandated lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Charlie Baker explained that this shutdown was because adult-use dispensaries were not categorized as essential businesses. He ordered that the dispensaries be allowed to reopen in May.
The second billion was recorded some days back. It is a significant point in the cannabis industry, as this is coming less than ten months after the first billion was recorded.
This sale does not include that made in the medical cannabis industry or the black market. It means that in less than three years, licensed recreational retailers operating in Massachusetts have sold over $2 billion worth of recreational marijuana.
From January 1, 2021 dispensaries made a record sales of over $844 million, which is $140 million more than the total regulated sales made throughout 2020. This means 2021 already holds the record for the most retail cannabis sales made in a year in Massachusetts.
In a statement issued by the CCC executive director, Collins, he commended the actors and workers in the industry, as well as the CCC. He said that the $2 billion mark displays just how efficient the licensing process is.
He also noted that all issued license holders have interacted with the commission from the application stage to the present moment. All registered establishments have complied with all the rigorous regulations laid down by the commission.
Mr. Collins also mentioned that a percentage of all sales made are contributed to disadvantaged communities across the commonwealth. He added that the success of the industry reveals the commission’s relentless efforts to ensure the adult-use market remains safe, accessible, and effective for all.
He went on to say that the success of the commission’s hard workers has kept the agency’s mission afloat. There is all-around public health, public safety, and equity due to critical tenets of the agency that have been maintained.
Operations of the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) In Four Years
The cannabis control commission celebrated its fourth anniversary last Wednesday. The agency was established in 2017 after voters approved the legislation for adult-use cannabis in the general elections in November 2016. That initiative made Massachusetts one of the few states to license recreational marijuana retailers in the country.
At the anniversary, the CCC listed the progress the commission has made in four years. The agency added that about 160 shops are already opened with the state, with more shops in the process of opening up.
The agency has issued licenses to 908 cannabis operators cutting across cultivation, processing, transporting, retailing, and delivery of adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts.
One of the achievements of the agency is creating a safe space for independent cannabis testing laboratories to be established. There were five of these laboratories within the state at the time this statement was issued.
Another notable achievement is that the CCC has modified a few regulations to authorize the home delivery of adult-use cannabis products and derivatives under three unique models.
In 2020, the CCC accepted applications for marijuana couriers or delivery; only licenses. Moving forward, it authorized two of these marijuana couriers to begin operations within the state. In addition to this, five other marijuana couriers have been approved for operations, ten have gotten temporary licenses and the agency Is currently reviewing the applications of seven other marijuana couriers.
The agency launched a wider wholesale delivery permit in May. About 39 registered applicants have been pre-certified. Only local approvals are needed for these applications to commence operations.
The agency announced that it has awarded a delivery endorsement permit to a cannabis micro business. This means the company will be allowed to deliver its manufactured products to the customers’ homes without involving a third party.
Collins is certain that the commonwealth is pleased with the agency’s accomplishments over the four years of its establishment.
The Bay State cannabis Industry could very well make more than a billion dollars this year. This would grant the state tax revenue of more than $200 million.
Predictions from experts show the industry is projected to grow substantially. As soon as the 205 dispensaries receive their pending temporary or final permits, more strides will be taken.
The state’s medical cannabis industry Is also faring well and recording significant sales.
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