Legal adult-use cannabis sales are going to begin in Massachusetts in July, which will make Massachusetts the seventh state to implement a regulated adult-use cannabis system.
Massachusetts voters approved cannabis legalization during the 2016 election. California, Nevada, and Maine also legalized cannabis in 2016.
Nevada began sales last year and California started allowing sales at the beginning of this year. Massachusetts is arriving later to the party than those two states, but well ahead of Maine.
How big will Massachusetts’ adult-use cannabis industry become once sales are in full swing?
Comparing Massachusetts to other legal states
Massachusetts has a population of roughly 6.9 million people. Compare that to the other legal states below:
- Colorado – 5.6 million
- Washington State – 7.4 million
- Oregon – 4.1 million
- Alaska – 739,795
- Nevada – 3 million
- California – 39.5 million
Massachusetts’ population is between Colorado’s and Washington, which sold 1.5 billion dollars worth of cannabis and 1.3 billion dollars, respectively.
Based off of population alone, Massachusetts should expect to sell at least 1.3-1.5 billion dollars worth of cannabis when the regulated industry is all the way up and running.
That projection is higher than the $1.1 billion that at least one estimate has predicted in Massachusetts by 2020, but all of those projections could prove to be too conservative.
Massachusetts’ cannabis industry has massive potential
As of this blog post legal adult-use cannabis sales do not exist on the East Coast. When sales begin in Massachusetts in July the state will be a legal cannabis sales island surrounded by prohibition.
That’s tremendously significant because the East Coast is so heavily populated. With Massachusetts being the only legal outlet in that entire part of the country, it’s going to receive a massive amount of tourist dollars.
Massachusetts is bordered by New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Vermont is the only state that has passed a legalization measure, and the measure did not include a regulated industry.
Maine will eventually have a regulated adult-use cannabis industry, but it will be in 2019 at the earliest, and even so, Maine isn’t as favorably located as Massachusetts.
As long as no surrounding states launch sales, Massachusetts is going to have the monopoly on legal adult-use sales in the area.
Because of that, no one can say for sure what Massachusetts’ true potential really is, just that it is mind-blowingly huge.
When will legal cannabis sales come to surrounding states?
Vermont is exploring measures to create a regulated adult-use sales system, but it would be a while after such a measure passed before sales would begin.
New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have been in serious discussions to pass legalization via legislative action, but it hasn’t happened yet.
It will take at least a year for any of those states to begin legal sales after a measure is passed according to history in other states, so it’s safe to say that Massachusetts will not have competition from surrounding states for quite some time.
That’s going to solidify Massachusetts as a central hub for adult-use cannabis on the East Coast, and will make it difficult for other states to gain a foothold among cannabis consumers.
The future of Massachusetts’ cannabis industry is very, very bright!