Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Tax Outpaces Alcohol for First Time

By BCB Staff Writer

The Massachusetts cannabis market is rooted in history, with the first recreational retail shops on the east coast opening in Leicester and Northampton. A little more than two years after voters decided to legalize non-medical cannabis, Cultivate Holdings and New England Treatment Access (NETA) were open to operate with sales to people over the age of 21.

Much has changed since then, NETA is now under the Parallel umbrella with its two dispensaries and Franklin cultivation center. Revenue forecasts for cannabis sales in Massachusetts are reaching historic levels. For the first time ever, marijuana excise tax is set to outpace alcohol sales to the tune of $2.54 Billion, according to the Cannabis Control Commission.

In December of 2021, halfway through the fiscal year, $74.2 million in taxes were collected, compared to $51.3 million in alcohol. Experts say the transition from medical to adult-use often doubles and triples revenue, based on access and availability.

Currently there are 165 cannabis retailers and three delivery services in rotation, though entering the industry as a potential owner of a minority-owned business is rife with obstacles. The City of Boston has produced programs like the Boston CannaBiz 101 to offer educational resources that would mitigate these challenges to those entering the industry.

Cultural programs like the Core Social Justice Cannabis Museum use culture and history to fight the war on drugs as the cannabis industry continues to evolve. Through the Black CannaBusiness Magazine CEO Intensive partnership with Parallel and NETA, Boston will soon boast of another opportunity to increase minority ownership through education on April 21st.

Own a business and want to scale up? Apply to the CEO Intensive today.

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