Last November, Massachusetts became one of the five latest states to legalize the use and cultivation of recreational cannabis. Despite approval from a majority of the Northeastern state’s residents, policymakers have repeatedly delayed and even threatened to make major changes to the voter-passed law, citing “several concerns” with the current legislation.
Although bureaucratic obstacles that are standing in the way of implementing a recreational cannabis industry at the moment, a wide range of Massachusetts industries are eagerly awaiting a lucrative market to bloom from impending legalization. Obviously, cannabis retailers, cultivators, testing facilities, and edible manufacturers stand to profit from recreational legalization, but there are many industries outside of the usual suspects that are also poised for success once Massachusetts finally sets their regulations into place.
Examples include contractors that will transform warehouses into grow facilities, mechanics to maintain heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, as well as the real estate market, security guards, lobbyists, scientists, and chefs.
The Boston Globe examined the potential boom that recreational cannabis could cause across Massachusetts. One of the companies preparing to profit from legalization is SICPA Holding SA, a cigarette tax stamp company that has helped prevent “black market” tobacco from being sold in the state. The firm is working on a public contract that would put them in charge of tracking cannabis from seed to sale, effectively preventing criminal organizations from profiting through the legal market.
With retail cannabis shops now expected to able to begin selling in July 2018, the state could see an economic boom on par with the one in Colorado when their recreational cannabis industry was launched in 2012. According to Adam Orens, who co-authored a 2016 cannabis-focused economic study in Colorado, there’s no denying the ripple effect of success that recreational marijuana creates in outlying industries.
“In Colorado, we found security services got a good bump. There is a whole class of specialized lawyers, and consultants — like me — that have done well. There’s real estate. We saw the cannabis industry rent a lot of B- and C-class retail space, and also transform a lot of industrial space,” he told the Boston Globe.
Still, the main challenge for the impending recreational system in Massachusetts seems to to be their own state representatives and lawmakers. To fight these delays, the Marijuana Policy Project has retained the lobbying firm Lynch Associates Inc. to keep a watchful eye over the potential legislative effort to undermine the voter-approved law.
The sooner that state lawmakers get the ball rolling on recreational cannabis, the sooner the local economy will be able to flourish thanks to marijuana-derived cash.