top of page

Cannabis And Marijuana Businesses

When Massachusetts legalized marijuana in 2017, it opened up an entirely new industry complete with cannabis taxation rules. Cannabis and marijuana businesses flocked to Boston and other cities around the Commonwealth, and entrepreneurs quickly sought to capitalize on Massachusetts’ new legal marijuana market.

However, while marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, it is still heavily regulated and is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Among various other implications, this means that cannabis and marijuana businesses in Massachusetts face a number of challenging tax-related issues. 

State and Federal tax law compliance is a necessary part of doing business in any industry. For cannabis and marijuana businesses in particular, avoiding scrutiny from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is of critical importance. Not only could tax law violations lead to interest and financial penalties, but it could also lead to regulatory action (including license revocation), and it could potentially trigger a broader state or federal law enforcement investigation as well.

Advising cannabis industry clients on:

  • business formation and operations

  • medical and recreational licensing and regulatory compliance

  • municipal approvals of host community agreements

  • local siting, zoning and permitting requirements

  • debt and equity financing and joint ventures

  • real estate acquisitions, sales and leasing

  • environmental issues affecting developers, landlords and tenants

  • employment issues, including executive employment contracts, drafting employee handbooks and training on workplace policies and procedures

  • tax matters

  • intellectual property protection

  • information privacy and data security planning


Possessing, using, distributing or selling marijuana or marijuana-based products is illegal under federal law, even where a state law decriminalizes or legalizes such activities. Compliance with state law does not assure compliance with federal law. Any information on our website or in any client alerts does not and is not intended to provide any assistance in violating federal law.

bottom of page