April 1, the first date on which businesses in Massachusetts currently holding licenses for medical marijuana are permitted to apply for Adult Use recreational licenses, is fast approaching. Once again, Prince Lobel’s Cannabis Team advises all nonprofit organizations currently holding or planning to hold cannabis licenses, to strongly consider conversion from your current nonprofit status to a for-profit business status. Since this conversion became available, we have advised and assisted most of our clients through the process. In our view, there is no advantage to not converting, and the obvious advantages are that the entity that holds the license will then be allowed to have owners and will no longer be subject to the nonprofit regulations of the Massachusetts Attorney General.
It is in your interest to complete this process before applying for an Adult Use license and to have it reflected in your application from the beginning, rather than to file as a nonprofit and seek to change it later. As the regulations now read, all such changes would have to be approved, and all new investors would have to be vetted with a subsequent filing if they are not listed on the initial application.
Prince Lobel is in the final stages of preparing its comments to the regulations proposed by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). Our comments will address issues of concern to our clients, including recommendations for simplifying the application process, clarification of host community fees, conversion and separation in dispensaries and cultivation locations, radius restrictions, ownership limitations, alternative funding to offset insurance requirements, expedited services for lender relationships, and accommodations for corporate structuring flexibility. Our comment letter will be posted on our website once it has been submitted.
As you know, applications to the CCC are to be handled on a “first-come-first-served” basis, for both the priority and the new application groups. Submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application may move an applicant to the bottom of the list. To that end, please contact us if you are looking to apply for an adult license, and please join us at our roundtable event to ensure you know everything necessary to file a successful application.