Fall is here and legal cannabis is kicking off in New England
I was asked to speak recently at the NECANN Conference in Providence, Rhode Island and spent the week visiting Bridge West clients around New England. As I drove through beautiful fall foliage, I had an opportunity to catch up on cannabis updates in this part of the country.
The good news is that there is much hope and optimism in Massachusetts. Cultivators and extractors are getting their business plans to the cities and towns for approval. To get a state cannabis license for adult use, you have to get a “Host Community Agreement,” which shows the Mass. Licensing authorities that your site is properly zoned and the city or town has approved of your operation.
This applies on the retail side, as well. Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be the first to have adult use sales. The hold-up has been that the testing labs need to be approved to test the adult-use cannabis products. That happened in October while I was there, and adult-use cannabis sales should start very soon.
In Rhode Island, three medical marijuana dispensaries are serving the entire state. They have an integrated model where they grow and extract their own products but are also allowed to purchase from small care giver growers.
In Connecticut, limited licenses and pharmacist oversight made the medical marijuana program there an economic success.
The Northeast will be a great market for the cannabis industry with smaller states that have large populations. It may take operations there a while to get up-to-speed and there may be large barriers to entry on the political side. It may also take some time to raise the amount of capital that is needed for this growing industry.
Stay tuned, and I will continue to share my insights.
“Summer flies and August dies”, from Days Between by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia