Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Massachusetts Pot Regulator Wants to Cut License Wait Time in Half

By Eric Volkman - Feb 25, 2020 at 7:51PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The Cannabis Control Commission would like to reduce the waiting period to "only" 60 days or so.

Massachusetts' marijuana industry regulator would like to make its licensing process quicker, with its head officially stating this goal on Monday. In a budget hearing with the state legislature's Joint Ways and Means Committee, Steven Hoffman, chairman of the Cannabis Control Commission, said he wants to reduce the waiting time for awarding a license by 50%.

At present, the average waiting period is 121 days for the initial review phase of licensing applications. According to the commission, if its budget were increased it could hire enough additional staff to reduce that time sufficiently to meet the stated goal in fiscal 2021.

Jars of marijuana on a dispensary counter.

Image source: Getty Images.

For fiscal 2020, the commission has been granted an operations budget of roughly $9.6 billion. An increase of 29%, or $2.8 billion, would suffice to hire as many as 34 full-time employee-equivalent officials to speed up the licensing process.

All told, the commission has requested $16.3 billion for its 2021 funding. In addition to operations, these monies would be spent on expenses for the state's medical marijuana program and a consumer awareness advertising campaign. 

Mass Live reported Hoffman as telling the committee that "if we can increase the number of licensing personnel we have, we can increase the number of licenses and we can increase the amount of tax revenue that we generate, so I believe it is a good investment."

The increase in funding and resulting chop in license wait time would help the business of local marijuana companies like Curaleaf (CURLF 0.51%). Based in eastern Massachusetts, the company already has four dispensaries open in its home state. The fact that Curaleaf's count is so low on its native territory is indicative of the slowness of the licensing procedure.

Curaleaf's stock price dropped by nearly 6% on Tuesday.

 

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
CURLF
$5.94 (0.51%) $0.03

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
403%
 
S&P 500 Returns
128%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/16/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.