Massachusetts Craft Marijuana Cooperative License

What Is a Craft Marijuana Cooperative in Massachusetts?

A craft marijuana cooperative is a marijuana establishment permitted to cultivate, procure, manufacture, process, package, and brand cannabis or marijuana products and transport such to other marijuana establishments but not to consumers. In Massachusetts, a craft marijuana cooperative is a type of marijuana cultivator.

Unlike a marijuana cultivator establishment, a craft marijuana cooperative is not restricted to a specific number of cultivation locations. However, it is limited to a total canopy area of 100,000 square feet, and three locations for activities carried out as an authorized marijuana product manufacturer in Massachusetts.

Does Massachusetts License Craft Marijuana Cooperatives?

Yes, pursuant to the Massachusetts Regulations on Adult Use of Marijuana (935 CMR 500.000), any marijuana business seeking to legally perform the activities defined within the scope of a craft marijuana cooperative establishment in the state must obtain a craft marijuana cooperative license from the Cannabis Control Commission.

How to Get a Craft Marijuana Cooperative License in Massachusetts

In order to apply for the craft marijuana cooperative license in Massachusetts, the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The cooperative must comprise Massachusetts residents who have formed a limited liability partnership, a limited liability company, or a cooperative corporation.
  • The cooperative members may not possess a controlling interest in any other type of marijuana establishment in Massachusetts.
  • A member of the cooperative must have filed a Schedule F tax form in the previous five years before applying for the license.
  • The cooperative must operate in accordance with the seven cooperative principles established by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1995.
  • Proof of residency in Massachusetts for a period of 12 consecutive months before the date of license application with the CCC is mandatory.

The first step in applying for a Massachusetts craft marijuana cooperative license is to complete all three sections of the CCC-established licensing application and pay the applicable licensing fee. The three sections in the application are:

  • Application of Intent (AOI)
  • Background Check
  • Management and Operations Profile

Each section of the application requires applicants to present correct information about their proposed establishment, persons and organizations linked with the establishment, as well as to show an awareness of and a commitment to comply with the CCC’s rules applicable to the craft marijuana cooperative license type, location, and size.

You may begin the license application process by visiting the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP). The following are the required information and documents under each section of the application:

APPLICATION OF INTENT

The Application of Intent (AOI) section requires the applicant to state in their application for licensing any persons or entities having direct or indirect control in their marijuana establishments. Individuals or entities having direct or indirect control refer to any person or organization that has indirect control over the activities and operations of the craft marijuana cooperative. It specifically includes any person or entity with a controlling interest in an applicant's indirect holding or parent company, as well as the applicant's chief executive officer and executive director, or any person or organization in a position to influence the decision-making process of the craft marijuana cooperative.

In the AOI section, an applicant must provide the following:

  • Disclosure of In-State Interests
  • Disclosure of out-of-date Interests
  • Capital resources and sources
  • Bond or Escrow
  • Property Identification and Interest Documentation
  • Host Community Agreement Certification
  • Community Outreach Meeting Attestation and Documentation
  • Plan to Remain Compliant with Local Ordinances
  • Plan to Positively Impact Disproportionately Harmed People

BACKGROUND CHECK

The applicant must also include each person or business disclosed in the Applicant of Intent section in the Background Check section. Individuals and organizations will be subjected to a thorough background check, and individuals will be fingerprinted.

The Commission will assess the suitability for licensure of each person and entity disclosed in an application, which is based in part on the results of background checks. Background checks will include the following but will not be limited to:

  • Records from Massachusetts and national crime databases
  • Civil database records for Massachusetts and the United States, including professional and occupational records
  • Other marijuana-related enterprises in which the person or organization is involved
  • Any action taken against the person or entity's license or registration

Each individual and entity listed on the application must disclose actions in Massachusetts or another jurisdiction. These include:

  • Any criminal conduct, whether felony or misdemeanor, that results in a conviction, guilty plea, nolo contendere plea, or admission of sufficient facts
  • A civil action, particularly those involving a professional, vocational, or fraudulent activity.
  • Any administrative action, including those taken in connection with medical marijuana or adult-use marijuana enterprise.
  • Any disciplinary action taken against the person or organization in any jurisdiction, such as suspension or revocation of a license, registration, or certification, including, but not limited to, a license to prescribe or distribute controlled drugs
  • A detailed explanation of any license denial

Any sealed or expunged convictions are not required to be provided.

Craft marijuana cooperative license applicants must submit three authorization forms (CORI Acknowledgement Form, Disclosure and Acknowledgement Form, and Release Authorization Form) and an unexpired government-issued identification for each individual listed on the licensing application.

MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS PROFILE

The information requested in this section demonstrates that the applicant is familiar with the legal requirements for operating a craft marijuana cooperative. This section also reveals that the applicant is familiar with the Commission's rules and has plans specific to the craft marijuana cooperative license type, location, and size.

To comply with this step of the application, an applicant must provide the following:

  • Business Information, Articles of Organization, and Bylaws
  • Certificates of Good Standing (from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Unemployment Assistance)
  • Business Plan, Liability Insurance Plan, and Proposed Timeline
  • Summary of Operating Plans, Policies, and Procedures
    • Security Plan
    • Prevention of Diversion Plan
    • Storage Plan
    • Transportation Plan
    • Inventory Plan
    • Quality Control and Testing Procedures
    • Personnel Policies
    • Recordkeeping Procedures
    • Maintenance of Financial Records
    • Detailed Description of Qualifications and Intended Training for Agents
    • Energy Compliance Plan
    • Diversity Plan
  • The plan required of marijuana cultivator license applicants pursuant to 935 CMR 500.101(3)(a)
  • The plan and paperwork required of marijuana product manufacturers in accordance with 935 CMR 500.101(3)(c), as applicable

Craft marijuana cooperative license applicants are eligible for expedited applications prior to other general cannabis license applicants in Massachusetts. When the CCC receives a license application, it is thoroughly examined to ascertain compliance with the Commission's requirements. If any portion of the application is determined to violate the Commission's guidelines, the applicant will get a request for further information or RFI. An RFI notice will include a brief narrative describing any observed defects or non-compliance problems.

When the CCC determines that the application is complete, the Commission will inform the applicant. The notification will contain the following information:

  • Payment instructions for background checks to be performed
  • Fingerprint instructions for all required individuals
  • Notification that the application, to the extent permitted by law, has been sent to the municipality (in which the craft marijuana cooperative establishment will be located) requesting a response concerning the marijuana establishment’s compliance with local ordinances or bylaws within 60 days
  • Notification that the CCC will consider the application for a provisional license within 90 days.

If all information obtained from the applicant and the appropriate authorities demonstrates that the application complies with all applicable requirements, provisional licensing will be recommended. For further inquiries about obtaining the craft marijuana cooperative license in Massachusetts, contact the Cannabis Control Commission at (774) 415-0200 or Commission@CCCMass.com.

How Much Does a Craft Marijuana Cooperative License Cost in Massachusetts?

A Massachusetts craft marijuana cooperative license fee is equivalent to the total fees for its canopy size. Note that the craft marijuana cooperative is a type of marijuana cultivator but has its canopy size restricted to a total of 100,000 square feet. The following are the application and annual license fees for marijuana cultivators in Massachusetts:

License Type (Indoor or Outdoor) Application Fee (Indoor (I) / Outdoor (O)) License Fee (Indoor (I) / Outdoor (O))
Tier 1: Less than 5,000 square feet $200 (I)/$100 (O) $1,250 (I)/$625 (O)
Tier 2: 5,001 - 10,000 sq. ft. $400 (I)/$200 (O) $2,500 (I)/$1,250 (O)
Tier 3: 10,001 - 20,000 sq. ft. $600 (I)/$300 (O) $5,000 (I)/$2,500 (O)
Tier 4: 20,001 - 30,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $20,000 (I)/$10,000 (O)
Tier 5: 30,001 - 40,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $22,500 (I)/$11,250 (O)
Tier 6: 40,001 - 50,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $25,000 (I)/$12,500 (O)
Tier 7: 50,001 - 60,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $30,000 (I)/$15,000 (O)
Tier 8: 60,001 - 70,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $35,000 (I)/$17,500 (O)
Tier 9: 70,001 - 80,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $40,000 (I)/$20,000 (O)
Tier 10: 80,001 - 90,000 sq. ft. $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $45,000 (I)/$22,500 (O)
Tier 11: 90,001 - 100,000 sq. ft $2,000 (I)/$1,500 (O) $50,000 (I)/$25,000 (O)


Note that for craft marijuana cooperatives with more than 6 locations, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission charges $200 for indoor cultivators and $100 for outdoor cultivators per additional location in application fees. For the license fee and applicants with more than 6 locations, the CCC charges $1,250 and $625 for each additional location for indoor and outdoor cultivator types, respectively.

The craft marijuana cooperative license is valid for only one year. The renewal fees are the same as the initial license fee for any tier of the license.

Can Licensed Craft Marijuana Cooperatives Hold Other Cannabis Licenses in Massachusetts?

Per the CCC guidance on licensure, members of craft marijuana cooperatives in Massachusetts may not be persons or entities having direct or indirect control in any other type of marijuana establishment in the commonwealth. However, this rule does not restrict a craft marijuana cooperative licensee from applying for a marijuana retailer, existing licensee transporter, marijuana research, or a social consumption establishment license.

However, a craft marijuana cooperative licensee in Massachusetts cannot hold more than one craft marijuana cooperative license.

Massachusetts Craft Marijuana Cooperative License