Back on November 6, 2012, Ballot Question 3, "An Initiative Petition for a Law for Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana" passed with over 63% of the vote, making the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the 18th state in the U.S., in addition to the District of Columbia, to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. This brought about the creation of a fund to hold revenues and costs associated with running the registration component of the program, and it just reported its 2016 results.
The Medical Marijuana Trust Fund
Pursuant to section 2KKKK of chapter 29 of the General Laws, "There shall be established and set upon the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Medical Marijuana Trust Fund." This trust fund receives the revenues associated with the fees collected in Massachusetts for applying to register a dispensary and more.
Since revenues for the fund come from fees associated with registering as a cannabis business in Massachusetts, we thought it would be important to give a better understanding of just how high some of the ongoing costs of operation are. For instance, the RMD registration carries with it a $50,000 annual fee! The complete fee schedule for the Medical Marijuana Trust Fund is as follows:
Patient registration: $50, annually
ID Card replacement: $10
Hardship cultivation: $100
Dispensary Agent registration: $500, annually
Phase 1 Application: $1,500
Phase 2 Application: $30,000
RMD registration: $50,000, annually
Location change: $10,000
Name change: $100
Architectural review: $8.25 per $1,000 of construction costs ($1,500 minimum)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Public Health has just released its 2017 "Medical Marijuana Trust Fund Annual Report," which shows that the fund received $7,233,360 in revenues in fiscal year 2016. For fiscal year 2015, the fund showed revenues of $3,821,700. The annual report also includes estimates for fiscal year 2017 of $13,138,512 in revenues, representing a roughly 81% increase.
Recreational vs. Medicinal
We'll be anxious to see if the medical marijuana revenues continue to grow as expected given that 2017 will be the first year that Massachusetts also has legalized recreational marijuana. While there is yet to be dispensaries for recreational marijuana, the two bifurcations of the Massachusetts cannabis industry are sure to compete.
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