A Snapshot Of America’s Medical Marijuana Markets: Massachusetts

Massachusetts voted for medical cannabis in November 2012, and the law took effect on New Year’s Day 2013.

The state’s medical marijuana program followed decriminalization in 2008. In 2016, the state approved adult use. 

The medical market in Massachusetts is often said to be underwhelming to patients and businesses alike.   

In a state that requires medical marijuana companies to be vertically integrated and limits businesses to three stores per license, Massachusetts’ medical market saw $201 million in spending in 2018, according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.

Those firms project the figure will be nearly halved to $109 million by 2024 as the adult use sector grows.

In the early years of the medical market, Massachusetts saw steady enrollment growth, including near-constant upward movement from April 2016 until the late fall of 2018. 

Patient counts have plateaued at just below 60,000.

State data from May 31, 2019, reports that over 59,000 patients are active in the program, along with over 7,000 caregivers, 50 registered marijuana dispensaries (RMDs) for approved sales and 293 registered health care providers.

Regulations Mean Restrictions

With adult-use spending slated to reach $1.1 billion by 2024, those who spoke to Benzinga said they’re worried the medical market’s ongoing pain points will persist as more turn to the recreational marketplace.

Strict rules resulted in a pushing back of the opening date for Diem Cannabis in Worcester, said Dusti Arab, the dispensary’s vice president of marketing. 

“It’s been nothing but delays since we entered the state, and a result, the state has lost millions in tax revenue,” said Arab. The exec said an April opening is planned.

State regulations from the Cannabis Control Commission prohibit stores from offering discounts to veteran patients, Arab said. 

“We want …

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