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BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- It's now just three months until the retail sale of marijuana is expected to become a reality in Massachusetts.
Monday marked the first day the state's Cannabis Control Commission would accept applications for the fast-track process from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries--and from areas disproportionately impacted by enforcement of marijuana prohibition.
Opening dates for regular retail applications and a host of related businesses will be staggered over the next two months.
It's a full-speed rush toward a July 1 opening day--but back in February, Cannabis Control Commission Char Steve Hoffman said he was confident it would happen.
"If it ever becomes a choice between doing it right or pushing the timeline back, we will do it right," he said. "But right now, we believe we're on the path to do it both right and on time."
He notes that local governments would have the final say over businesses looking to sell in their respective communities.
Jim Borghesani of the Marijuana Policy Project told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kendall Buhl he expected many applications.
"I think there are many people who look at this industry and want to take commerce away from the black market where it has resided for decades," he said. "They want to make it a legal industry that comes out of the shadows. So I think you're going to see a good number of applicants coming in."
Along with a flood of applications, Borghesani said there would be a flood of revenue.
"Colorado last year took in about $280 million in tax revenue," he said. "And remember, this is coming at a time when the Commonwealth, even just in the past eight months, was agonizing over cuts of around $8 million, so this is much-needed new revenue."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kendall Buhl reports