Adult-Use Marijuana Establishments

The Somerville City Council has adopted two key items of legislation regarding adult marijuana. The first item of legislation, approved on November 8, 2018, created a licensing procedure that requires any type of marijuana establishment to obtain a license from the Somerville Licensing Commission. The licensing procedure created a priority application period that applies to certain types of applicants for two years and established a cap of 12 licenses for the first two years. The second item of legislation, approved on December 13, 2018, created regulations for various types of adult-use marijuana establishments and a Marijuana Overlay District. The overlay outlines where medical and adult-use marijuana retailers would be allowed only with a Special Permit from either the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Planning Board, depending on the underlying zoning district.

All types of marijuana establishments are also required to be licensed by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). The CCC requires prospective marijuana establishments to complete the local approval process before beginning their licensing process. The first step in the local approval process is to apply for a Host Community Agreement (HCA) through the Mayor’s Marijuana Advisory Committee (MAC). If an HCA is granted the next steps would be to pursue zoning relief, if necessary, and a license from the Somerville Licensing Commission. There are links on this page with more information on the legislative items that have been approved and the local procedures.

All applicants submitting applications between now and April 1, 2020 will NOT be charged the $900 application fee. This is an effort to make it a bit easier for small business and our economic empowerment applicants to get into this industry with limited costs.

As of October 2, 2019, all applications for host community agreements (HCAs) and licenses must be submitted via the CitizenServe portal. See this document for instructions.

Approved Documents

Presentations and Resources

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