Chapter 55 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governs adult-use marijuana in the state.
Yes, both medical and recreational, i.e. adult-use, marijuana are legal in the Pilgrim State.
Qualifying patients may apply for hardship registration if they wish to cultivate their own cannabis, or have a caregiver grow on their behalf. They are allowed to cultivate the number of plants needed to provide a 60-day supply of cannabis.
The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, or Question 4 , passed by voters in November 2016, legalized cannabis use for adults 21 and older and created the Cannabis Control Commission (the Commission) to regulate marijuana statewide. Retail sales began in November 2018.
What is the Massachusetts recreational marijuana law?
Adults age 21 and older can purchase 1 ounce of cannabis or 5 grams of concentrate from licensed marijuana retailers. Adult-use cannabis is subject to a 6.25% sales tax, a 10.75% state excise tax, and a potential municipal tax of up to 3%. As such, most adult-use consumers could encounter a total tax rate of about 20%.
Voters approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative, or Question 3 , in November 2012. Question 3 established the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program, initially administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), to regulate medical marijuana across the Commonwealth.
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. Neither drivers nor passengers may consume marijuana in a vehicle. Consumption is generally banned in public but the Commission does allow local jurisdictions to set their own rules around cafes, smoke rooms, or other options for social consumption.
Vape concentrates must also be tested for vitamin E acetate.
Registered patients can find licensed dispensaries in Massachusetts and search by cities including Boston, Worcester, and North Hampton. Many dispensaries in Massachusetts offer delivery and curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.
Taking your cannabis with you
Taking any amount of cannabis with you when you return home outside the state of Massachusetts is illegal and should under no circumstances be attempted. The possession of cannabis in any form is no longer legal as soon as you cross a state line, and the possession of any cannabis product is also prohibited in Massachusetts airports. Don’t risk the state or federal consequences and leave all cannabis products behind in Massachusetts when you depart.
Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts for people 21 and older, but that doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere you want. Here are some basics about the law:
Not all hotels or other rental accommodations are cool with consumption
For visitors who abide by the “no public consumption” rules, there are only a few options left for them as far as locations to consume their legally purchased cannabis products. While some people may be staying with friends or family in private residences, others will be staying in a hotel or other rental property. Be sure to check with any kind of rental or hotel accommodations before consuming cannabis products – whether by smoking, vaping, eating or otherwise – on their premises. Some property owners or managers are okay with cannabis use, while some are strictly opposed to consumption on their property. Don’t get kicked out of your accommodations because you didn’t follow the rules. Massachusetts currently does not license social consumption or mixed-use establishments such as marijuana consumption bars or yoga studios.
For more information about the regulations that govern what you can and can’t do, how much you can grow and have, and when and where it’s okay to use, visit MoreAboutMj.org.
Overview of Adult Use Marijuana in Massachusetts
There are buying limits
There are limits for how much cannabis any person can buy at a time, regardless of whether you are a resident of Massachusetts or not. The current possession limit is one ounce, where not more than five grams of marijuana can be in the form of marijuana concentrate. That can get confusing when you are purchasing different kinds of products in a dispensary. Your budtender and other dispensary staff will be able to help guide you when making purchases to ensure you stay under the legal limit. Keep in mind that they also are prohibited from selling you more than that amount per transaction, so don’t try to convince or coerce them into selling you more. That is illegal and will land everyone involved in hot water.
Have your ID ready
First of all, remember that you have to be 21 to purchase and consume cannabis legally. No exceptions. And there will be no fooling a dispensary or getting by without an official government issued ID the way some people get around the law when it comes to buying alcohol under age. The rules are strict with cannabis sales and your ID will be checked and rechecked before you are allowed into the establishment, let alone to make a purchase.
Public consumption is not allowed
While it is legal to possess cannabis products in public, any consumption of marijuana in public or smoking marijuana in an area where smoking tobacco is prohibited is also in violation of the law. Non-locals might think that Massachusetts residents walk down the street smoking cannabis like tobacco, but that is completely false. Don’t make this mistake and end up with serious consequences.
Out-of-towners’ guide to purchasing cannabis in Massachusetts
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. Period. If you are consuming cannabis products while visiting Massachusetts, make sure there is a sober driver and never get behind the wheel after you have consumed any amount of cannabis. If you need to get from place to place after consuming cannabis, consider a rideshare, such as a cab, Uber or Lyft. Keep in mind that the impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. Like alcohol, you may not have an open container of adult-use marijuana/marijuana products in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access.
How to carry products with you while you are traveling in Massachusetts
The short answer is to carry marijuana and marijuana products in a concealed and enclosed manner. When purchasing products, they will be given to you in a sealed bag or case. This is perfect to store your products within your luggage, car or other personal property when you are in public. The idea is to keep your products secure and out of sight. When traveling with children or pets, you should be especially cautious about keeping products locked up and out of reach.
Cannabis Oil Extraction
When making edibles at home, such as cannabis-infused beverages or baked goods, it can be challenging to distribute cannabis evenly throughout a product. This can make it difficult to control potency and dosage of the edible.
Massachusetts law allows residents of the Commonwealth to grow marijuana at home. There are a few things you should know about Home Cultivation.
Keep Kids and Pets Safe
When making concentrates, extracting cannabis oil with flammable materials, such as propane and butane, is illegal. These materials release vapors that can easily trigger explosions. Consider alternative extraction methods.
Responsible Home Cultivation
For more information on fire safety and cannabis in your home, click here to view a flyer from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.