Massachusetts is expected to sell $1.1 billion in recreational marijuana by the year 2020. Recent market research estimates that the nationwide marijuana industry will be worth roughly $21 billion by then. Boston is a front-runner for becoming the new marijuana capital of the world, according to Arcview Group CEO Troy Dayton.
Massachusetts started its campaigning for legal recreational marijuana in 2014, according to Metro. The campaign raised $6.4 million, with 81-percent of its campaign-funding coming from New Approach. Licensing requirements and regulations aren’t completely in place yet in Massachusetts.
Dayton said, “Unlike other places where cannabis is legal, Boston is within driving distance to many of the most populous places in America. This will make Boston the cannabis capital of the world in short order.”
Shaleen Title, a ganjapreneur, said, “We were very deliberate about making the adult-use industry more accessible for small businesses.”
Mass Medi Spa CEO Jeffrey Roos knows the growing pains of opening a. His company has been working for 5 years to open in Nantucket and Norwell. The average cost of starting a medical marijuana dispensary annually is $325,000, not including the cash you must show that you have access to in order to maintain the business.
Compliance is a major cost, which lawmakers are not taking into consideration.
Roos said, “Compliance itself is a full time job – we have a compliance officer on payroll.”
Roos also said, “I think medical and recreational will both be highly regulated so you’re not going to see any fly-by-night operations. It’s going to be the people who have the skill set and resources to put together a business that is successful.”
Boston City Councilmember Sal LaMattina said, “It’s a billion-dollar industry and I’d love to see local residents in the city of Boston take advantage of this. It shouldn’t be big companies controlling the marijuana business here.”
Many local lawmakers and advocates are hoping to see small marijuana businesses applying for licenses rather than larger corporations.