More than 200 Applied for Marijuana Licenses on the First Day

Dispensaries and "economic empowerment" applicants sent in applications Monday.

Marijuana buds on white background with jar

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The state’s Cannabis Control Commission began accepting applications for marijuana business licenses at noon on Monday, and regulators say they’ve already received hundreds of them.

Between then and Tuesday morning, according to a report from the CCC on Tuesday, 218 applied to be among the first to participate in Massachusetts’ first legal recreational pot market.

CCC Chairman Steve Hoffman said Tuesday that the commission had no trouble accepting the applications in spite of the “substantial” volume. “The system has performed as expected,” he said, according to the State House News Service.

Established dispensaries accounted for 89 of the applications, and the rest came from “economic empowerment” applicants, who can show they benefit “communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana law enforcement.” The commission allowed only those two groups to take part in its priority certification process.

On May 1, applications will be accepted for cultivators, craft marijuana cooperatives, micro-businesses, and independent testing labs. Then on June 1, the commission will begin accepting retailers, manufacturers, and transporters. Recreational pot sales can begin at the earliest on July 1.

There’s another hurdle for these cannabis entrepreneurs to clear. To be given a license, they’ll ultimately need to show they have the sign-off from a host community. And as the Boston Globe has found, a majority of towns in Massachusetts have banned pot companies.