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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 and revised June 11, 2020 and October 27, 2022, 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 five years (until November 2023). The second item of legislation, approved on December 12, 2019, created a Cannabis Establishment use category in zoning. It established the districts in which different types of marijuana establishments are permitted and the criteria that the permitting authority will consider when reviewing marijuana establishment proposals.

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.

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. Note: the $900 application fee is waived during the Licensing Ordinance priority period (through November 2022).

Approved Documents

  • Zoning Ordinance (adopted December 12, 2019; amended December 9, 2021)
  • Licensing Ordinance (adopted November 8, 2018; amended June 11, 2020)
    • Ord 2022-22 (ordained on October 25, 2022) extended the priority period from 4 years to 5
  • MAC Ranking Criteria (revised March 31, 2021)

Guidance Documents

Marijuana Advisory Committee Membership (updated July 15, 2022)

  • Karin Carroll, Director of Heath and Human Services
  • Jeff Digregorio, Somerville Police Lt.
  • Sarah Lewis, Director of Planning, Preservation, & Zoning
  • Rachel Nadkarni, Acting Director of Economic Development

Any questions about the MAC or its process should be emailed to Charlotte Leis at

Marijuana Advisory Committee Recommendations

Recreational Host Community Agreement Recipients

Other Resources

Presentations and Public Meetings
Previous Versions Archive
Contact Information

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