About Marijuana Laws in Massachusetts
It took the state of Massachusetts more than three years to get its medical use of marijuana program up and running; The program became effective in 2013 when a voter referendum passed with approval of 63%. While retail sales of medical cannabis finally began in 2016, the state legalized recreational marijuana use in 2018, taking far less time to get things going.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has worked to make medical cannabis card registration easy, streamlining the process online. In August 2020, the CCC proposed raising the number of patients a caregiver could assist to 10 at a time; the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance opposed this notion, according to MassLive.
To register with the state’s medical marijuana program, Massachusetts residents no longer need to fill out a paper application. The state offers an online registration process, and new patients only need a written recommendation from a registered doctor, a valid ID proving state residency, a passport-like photo, and the unique PIN they receive after being certified. After registering, patients can visit Massachusetts dispensaries or the state’s Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers.
Efforts to allow recreational cannabis delivery are also underway on the recreational use front. CCC and state representatives are working out the third phase of the rule-making regarding the matter. “The commission approved a delivery license structure in the fall and made applications available in May, but has not yet licensed a delivery-only business,” an August MassLive news report explains.
Now that Massachusetts state law has legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana use, it is likely that the state will continue establishing policies and procedures leading to the creation of another $122 million in cannabis tax revenue from sales. This is good news for patients and non-patients alike.
Qualifying Medical Conditions in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has eight specific conditions that make residents eligible for the medical cannabis program, including:
The state also allows “other conditions that severely limit one or more major life functions,” that a medical marijuana doctor or certifying healthcare provider can diagnose. There is no medical cannabis registration card fee in Massachusetts. The once-required $50 fee for an annual card was dropped in 2019.
Registering a Caregiver in Massachusetts
Caregiver requirements include providing current acceptable identification that proves Massachusetts residency. First time caregivers can use two of the following forms of identification, A valid driver’s license, state ID card, U.S. passport or Military ID with a clear photo. However, if you use a military ID you must provide proof of residency with a document like a utility bill. Additionally, a personal caregiver must be at least 21 years of age and a Massachusetts resident. A caregiver must renew their MMJ card annually for it to remain valid. Once approved by the state, the caregiver will be given a specific registration number allowing them to purchase cannabis products on the qualifying patient’s behalf.
Possession and Cultivation Limits in Massachusetts
Since Massachusetts legally sells both recreational and medicinal cannabis, the possession and cultivation laws for adult use are the same. The specific rules reported by the state include: you can’t use marijuana in any form (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.) in public or on federal land; you can purchase up to 1 oz at the dispensary and possess up to 10 oz in your home; you can grow up to 6 plants in your home and up to 12 plants for 2 or more adults; and if you have more than 1 oz of marijuana in your home, it has to be locked up, but it’s best to keep any amount locked away to keep kids and pets safe.
Additionally, like alcohol, you can’t have an open container of any form of marijuana, including cannabis flower, concentrates, or edibles, in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access, and it must be stored in a closed container in your trunk or a locked glove compartment. It’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana; if you use, don’t get behind the wheel. Instead, use public transportation, ride-shares, or catch a ride with a sober friend.
Medical cannabis users and non-patients alike should be informed that their “employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies about the use of marijuana,” according to the state.
MMJ Card Reciprocity Program in Massachusetts
The state of Massachusetts doesn’t accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards. However, MA is a recreational marijuana state for anyone over the age of 21. State law does allow out-of-state visitors to possess medical marijuana up to 1 ounce.
Frequently Asked Questions
To start the registration process for a Massachusetts medical marijuana card you must prove you’re a resident of the state. You need to show a Massachusetts Photo ID or state driver’s license, U.S. Passport or military ID and provide a document like a utility bill to prove your address.
Before registering with the Massachusetts’ Medical Use of Marijuana Program, you will need to be certified by a qualified healthcare provider. Veriheal can help you set up an appointment with a licensed physician. Just fill out the form at the top of this page. After your certification, you will receive a PIN number to register with the medical marijuana program in Massachusetts.
Veriheal’s team can help you find a registered physician in Massachusetts through our platform. If your primary care physician is not registered with the Cannabis Control Commission they are not able to evaluate you and provide you a cannabis certification.
Yes. Massachusetts only allows patients and non-patients alike to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on their person and up to 10 ounces in their home.
With Veriheal, the fee of $199 covers your medical evaluation with a licensed Massachusetts practitioner and an authorized certification for medical cannabis if you are approved. If you are not approved, you will be refunded in full.
Massachuetts does not require a fee to register as a medical cannabis patient.
With one of the most diverse medical marijuana programs, Massachusetts allows qualifying patients access to a variety of medical cannabis products, including dry flower, tinctures, oils, concentrates, topicals, edibles, and capsules.
Massachusetts has eight specific conditions that make residents eligible for the medical cannabis program, including: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease), anxiety, cancer, cachexia, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and PTSD.
The state also allows “other conditions that severely limit one or more major life functions,” that a medical marijuana doctor can confirm.
Yes, renewing your card is simple with Veriheal. Every qualifying patient in Massachusetts will need to be re-certified annually by a licensed physician. Veriheal will get in touch with you when your certification is approaching its expiration to help you setup a renewal consultation.