Interest in Massachusetts marijuana licenses appears strong

BOSTON — There appears to be no shortage of interest in obtaining commercial marijuana licenses in Massachusetts.

The state’s Cannabis Control Commission reported on Tuesday that more than 200 applications have been started on the agency’s website since a “priority certification” period opened one day earlier.

Operators of registered medical marijuana dispensaries and prospective cannabis businesses seeking to locate in designated economic empowerment zones can seek priority status between now and April 16.

The commission said 274 user accounts had been created as of Tuesday morning, and 218 applications started. Of those, 23 had been completed while others had been withdrawn.

Nearly 60 percent of the applications started were for economic empowerment zones — which refer to areas that in the past had been disproportionately impacted by arrests for marijuana crimes.