Whether you’re new to Massachusetts marijuana or you’re just here for a visit, we understand that cannabis laws in Massachusetts can be a bit confusing.
Our mission is to help you navigate cannabis laws in Massachusetts, covering everything from its evolving legal landscape to current recreational and medical use laws, home growing distinctions, and vital tips for shopping for cannabis in MA.
Wondering about the legality of cannabis in the Bay State? Check out our guide on the latest Massachusetts marijuana laws below.
Is Marijuana Legal in MA?
Let’s start with the basics and perhaps your most burning question: Is cannabis legal in Massachusetts?
The answer is yes! Massachusetts is one of several U.S. states that has legalized both recreational (adult-use) and medical marijuana.
The evolution of cannabis laws in Massachusetts began when the state first decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis in 2008, followed by the landmark approval of medical marijuana in 2012.
Fast forward to 2016, when Massachusetts residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older. In 2018, the state’s first legal recreational cannabis sales began.
The state has since generated over $5 billion in gross recreational cannabis sales.
Massachusetts Recreational Marijuana Laws: A Breakdown
Let’s break down Massachusetts recreational marijuana laws.
Adults 21+ can legally purchase and grow cannabis in the state of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts marijuana laws allow adults to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis at home, but carry no more than one ounce outside of the house.
If you have more than one ounce of cannabis at home, then it must be securely locked up according to Massachusetts cannabis laws.
Adults visiting Massachusetts from out-of-state are able to legally purchase recreational cannabis. However, they must consume whatever they buy within state lines.
When hitting the road with your goodies from the dispensary, always keep them in a closed container. Similar to alcohol, open containers of cannabis in your car can result in hefty fines. For the times you plan to travel with your cannabis, place it in your trunk or locked glove compartment.
And when it comes to Massachusetts marijuana, you should know that you can’t mail it, drive under the influence of it, or cross state lines with it. Additionally, employers, cities, and landlords can govern their own rules regarding Massachusetts marijuana, so make sure you’re taking precautions depending on where you live, work, or stay.
Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program: Access and Regulations
Medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts for qualifying patients.
Massachusetts medical patients are allowed to possess up to a 60-day supply of cannabis, or up to 10 ounces. If medically necessary, a certifying healthcare provider can permit larger quantities.
Medical patients are also allowed to have up to two caregivers who can assist them in managing their medical cannabis use.
Please know that non-residents cannot purchase medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts, even with a valid out-of-state medical card.
How to Apply for Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts, individuals must be over the age of 18, a resident of Massachusetts, and have one of the qualifying medical conditions:
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Any other debilitating condition as determined by a physician in writing
Massachusetts medical marijuana laws require individuals to obtain a written recommendation from a Certifying Health Care Provider for their qualifying medical condition in order to be considered. This includes physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.
Patients under the age of 18 require approval from two certifying physicians, one of whom must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.
Once certified by your healthcare provider, you’ll receive a 4-digit personal identification number (PIN) to be used for registration as well as instructions on how to proceed with your application.
The easiest way to apply is by registering as a New Patient online through the Cannabis Control Commission’s Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMJ). In order to register with the state, you will need to provide proof of residency using a valid form of ID and a passport-style photo of yourself.
While there may be fees associated with annual certification visits, there is no longer a fee to register online.
Once approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card by mail within 7-14 business days. Be sure to carry it with you wherever you are in possession of medical marijuana in order to comply with Massachusetts cannabis laws.
Remember that you must renew your Patient status annually, and your account can be managed online anytime.
Massachusetts Cannabis Cultivation and Home Growing Laws
Massachusetts cannabis laws allow both medical and recreational consumers to cultivate their own cannabis plants at home. However, there are some important distinctions between who is allowed to grow what.
Adult-use consumers in Massachusetts can grow up to 6 cannabis plants at home for personal use. Two or more adults are able to grow no more than 12 plants at home.
Massachusetts cannabis laws state that cannabis plants grown at home must be secured with a lock or security device, and not visible to the public.
One of the perks of having a medical card in Massachusetts is that you’re not only able to possess more but also grow more of your own cannabis. Cannabis laws in Massachusetts permit medical patients to grow up to 12 flowering and 12 vegetative or immature cannabis plants at home for personal use.
Retail Dispensaries: Where and How to Purchase Cannabis
Now that we’ve covered Massachusetts cannabis laws, you’re ready to hit the dispensary. New to shopping for Massachusetts marijuana? Consider the following tips:
- Bring ID and/or Valid Medical Card. All you need is a valid, government-issued photo ID proving you are 21 or older to head to a recreational dispensary in MA. To purchase medical cannabis legally in the state, you’ll need your active medical card and a valid, government-issued photo ID.
- Check Available Payment Options. Many dispensaries prefer cash, so be sure to check their payment policies. Some also accept debit and credit cards, often with associated fees. Payment methods may vary, but many Mission locations accept all forms of payment!
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions. Educate yourself! Dispensary staff, known as budtenders or patient advocates, are there to answer your questions about products, dosage, strains, consumption methods, and potential effects. Get to know what your dispensary has to offer by asking questions. Our budtenders are here to help you find exactly what you need when you need it.
- Start Low and Go Slow. Those who are new to cannabis or a particular product should always start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed. In general, consuming cannabis mindfully and responsibly is the best way to find what works for you.
- Hold Off on Consuming Your Dispensary Finds. Massachusetts marijuana laws state that both recreational and medical marijuana are illegal to consume anywhere in public (and on federal property). Save it for the comfort of your home or other private space.
We’re Your One-Stop Shop for Massachusetts Cannabis
Looking for top-shelf cannabis products in MA now that you’re ready to shop? Look no further! Stay informed about cannabis laws in Massachusetts as you browse our premium selection of flowers, vapes, edibles, and more. Find a location near you today for convenient in-store shopping, pickup, and delivery options. We look forward to sharing Massachusetts’s exceptional cannabis with you!