Section 5. Licensing of marijuana establishments

(a) Upon receipt of a complete marijuana establishment license application and the application fee, the commission shall forward a copy of the application to the city or town in which the marijuana establishment is to be located, determine whether the applicant and the premises qualify for the license and has complied with this chapter and shall, within 90 days:

(1) issue the appropriate license; or

(2) send to the applicant a notice of rejection setting forth specific reasons why the commission did not approve the license application.

[ Introductory paragraph of subsection (b) effective until July 28, 2017. For text effective July 28, 2017, see below.]

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the commission shall approve a marijuana establishment license application and issue a license if:

[ Introductory paragraph of subsection (b) as amended by 2017, 55, Sec. 34 effective July 28, 2017. For text effective until July 28, 2017, see above.]

(b) The commission shall approve a marijuana establishment license application and issue a license if:

(1) the prospective marijuana establishment has submitted an application in compliance with regulations made by the commission, the applicant satisfies the requirements established by the commission, the applicant is in compliance with this chapter and the regulations made by the commission and the applicant has paid the required fee;

(2) the commission is not notified by the city or town in which the proposed marijuana establishment will be located that the proposed marijuana establishment is not in compliance with an ordinance or by-law consistent with section 3 of this chapter and in effect at the time of application;

(3) the property where the proposed marijuana establishment is to be located, at the time the license application is received by the commission, is not located within 500 feet of a pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12, unless a city or town adopts an ordinance or by-law that reduces the distance requirement; and

(4) an individual who will be a controlling person of the proposed marijuana establishment has not been convicted of a felony or convicted of an offense in another state that would be a felony in the commonwealth, except a prior conviction solely for a marijuana offense or solely for a violation of section 34 of chapter 94C of the General Laws, unless the offense involved distribution of a controlled substance, including marijuana, to a minor.

[ Subsection (c) effective until July 28, 2017. Deleted by 2017, 55, Sec. 35.]

(c) If a city or town limits the number of marijuana establishments that may be licensed in the city or town pursuant to clause (2) of subsection (a) of section 3 of this chapter and that limit prevents the commission from issuing a license to all applicants who meet the requirements of subsection (b) of this section:

(1) until July 1, 2018, the commission shall issue licenses first to applicants with the most experience operating medical marijuana treatment centers and then by lottery among qualified applicants; or

(2) on and after July 1, 2018, the commission shall issues licenses by lottery among qualified applicants.

The lottery shall also designate the priority order of unselected applicants in the event that a license becomes available within a year.