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.
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.