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Massachusetts Marijuana Dispensary Licenses - Towns & Cities Get Paid Big

The Breakdown: 


Medical marijuana dispensary hopefuls are offering and paying municipalities in Massachusetts for the approval letters they need to get a Massachusetts state marijuana dispensary license.


The Details:

  • A medical marijuana dispensary to open in Worcester, MA made one of the largest offers. 

  • They offered $450,000 over a three year period to the city of Worcester, followed by a $200,000 payment for the following year. 

  • A Springfield, MA medical marijuana dispensary planning to open offered an ongoing percentage of their revenue to the city paired with annual $50,000 donations to the local police force. 

  • This is compared with a medical marijuana dispensary that paid just over $80,000 a year ago to get their letter of approval. 


The Takeaways:

  • This sets a precedent in other towns and cities in Massachusetts.

  • When decision makers in other towns and cities see the payments others are receiving in exchange for the required letter of approval, they will hold out for their payments as well.

  • This will lead to a delayed opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. 

  • Medical marijuana advocates believe this will also lead to higher prices to the patient since dispensary margins will be diverted to the municipalities. 

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References & Further Reading Recommendations:


"Marijuana dispensary licenses to the highest bidder?" - Kay Lazar (Boston Globe)

Image Credit - Wikimedia Commons

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