Marijuana Regulations

Adult Use Marijuana

On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters approved an initiative legalizing the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana in the Commonwealth. In accordance with M.G.L. c. 94G and its implementing regulations 935 CMR 500, Worcester is required to facilitate the establishment of up to 15 regulated Marijuana Retailers.

In response, the City has adopted or proposed the following:

  1. The City has adopted a local sales tax of 3% on the sale of recreational marijuana.
  2. The City will negotiate community host agreements to provide resources for the oversight of marijuana establishments.
  3. The City is required to limit the number of marijuana retailers to no less than 20% of the number of "off-premises" alcohol licenses allotted to the City which, under the current allotment of 74, would limit the number of marijuana retailers to 15.
  4. The City has adopted a city ordinance imposing appropriate "time, place and manner" restrictions on the operation of local marijuana establishments by requiring such establishments to obtain a license from the license commission before commencing operations in Worcester.
  5. The City has adopted an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to regulate adult use marijuana establishments.

Request For Interest

The City of Worcester is issuing a Request For Interest (RFI) as a process for reviewing adult use marijuana establishments seeking community host agreements. Completed applications and any questions should be submitted to

Additional information including amendments to the RFI and FAQs will be posted as needed. The deadline for submission is August 24, 2018. Additional applications may be accepted on a rolling basis beginning on a to be determined date. 

Request for Interest

Local Resources

State Resources

Have A Question?

When should I host my community meeting?
The City will not review your RFI application unless you have held your mandatory community meeting.

What guidelines should I follow when conducting my community meeting?
The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has the following guidelines:
Community Outreach Guidance and Forms.

Registered Marijuana Dispensaries

On November 6, 2012, Ballot Question 3, "An Initiative Petition for a Law for Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana" passed with 63.3% of the vote (61.96% in Worcester), making Massachusetts the 18th state in the nation to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

For the most up to date information about state licensing of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, please visit's Health and Human Services Website.

Local Resources

Contact Information

Planning & Regulatory Services
City Hall Room 404
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

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Fax: 508-799-1406
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