Coast to coast, more states have embraced the value of cannabis. Thankfully, the Old Bay State has joined the growing crowd. If you are looking to buy weed legally in Massachusetts, you may have a few questions. We’ve pulled together this comprehensive guide on Massachusetts medical and recreational cannabis to help you out.
The State of Legal Weed in Massachusetts
Massachusetts initially legalized medical marijuana only in the state in January 2013, which made the state the 18th to make the move. The state actually started working toward less-stringent restrictions on cannabis in 2008 when lawmakers made moves to decriminalize having small amounts of cannabis in possession. Recreational cannabis was later approved by voters in November 2016, and then lawmakers established the rules surrounding both home cultivation and use in December 2016.
How to Get Your Recreational or Medical Weed
You can find several licensed cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts, including us here at Silver Therapeutics. All licensed dispensaries offer products to either adult users or medical cannabis patients. In fact, all dispensaries are required under state law to reserve 35 percent of their inventory for patients.
Adults over 21 don’t have to obtain a medical marijuana card to purchase weed at a dispensary. However, anyone over 18 and under 21 will need a medical marijuana card to prove they have a legitimate medical need for weed. Likewise, designated caregivers of people under 18 who need cannabis for medical reasons will be required to obtain a medical marijuana card for the underage individual and be listed as the caregiver.
As a side note, buying cannabis from anywhere other than a dispensary is never a good idea. The marijuana sold in the state is done so under strict regulations and only dispensaries are legally allowed to offer cannabis for sale. However, you are legally allowed to give up to 1 ounce of cannabis to another adult user over the age of 21 or vice versa.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts
Those with a medical need for cannabis can register for a medical marijuana ID card through the Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMP). In order to register for a medical ID card for weed, you must receive the go-ahead from a doctor that is willing to document that you have a debilitating condition that may benefit from the use of cannabis, or:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Hepatitis C
- Crohn’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
The application process is relatively simple:
- Obtain a certification from your doctor
- Obtain a PIN from the doctor to register
- Establish proof of Massachusetts residency with a valid Mass-issued ID
- Provide a photo of yourself
If the person registering needs a caregiver because they are underage or unable to obtain or use cannabis without assistance, that caregiver must also be designated via the MMP registry.
Where can you use weed in Massachusetts?
You do have to be careful about where you use your weed in Massachusetts. The laws specifically state you can’t consume marijuana or marijuana products in public, even if the area is open for tobacco smoking. If you’re caught, you could end up with a $100 fine. Do keep in mind that some cities may have ordinances that allow weed use on their property, almost like a bar. However, these places are few and far between as of 2021.
Cannabis Use at Home
For the safest smoke, plan to smoke cannabis at home or on your own private property. However, make sure if you rent that your landlord does not specifically prohibit smoking weed in the property as a tenant. In Massachusetts, property owners do have the right to prohibit cannabis use and growing on their properties. But they cannot prohibit the use of alternative forms of cannabis, such as concentrates or edibles.
Cannabis Use at Work
As for using cannabis at work, in any form, most employers don’t give the green light for cannabis use on the job. However, due to the many people who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, more employers are creating guidelines about what is and is not allowable. Be sure to find out what your employer specifies regarding cannabis use on the job so you don’t land in hot water.
Cannabis Use in Your Vehicle
It is illegal to use marijuana in a vehicle, whether you are the driver or the passenger. In many respects, cannabis is treated like alcohol where usage in a vehicle is concerned—the law simply does not allow it.
How much weed can you possess in Massachusetts?
Even though medical and recreational marijuana is legal in the state, all cannabis consumers can face repercussions and fines if they are found in possession of too much weed. At home, adults over 21 and medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to have 283 grams of cannabis, which is 10 ounces. While in public, you can only carry 28 grams (1 ounce). As far as concentrates go, adults can have 1.5 ounces at home and 1 ounce in public; medical patients are allowed to have a 60-day concentrate supply any time.
Keep in mind, carrying marijuana in public comes along with a few caveats to keep yourself within the legal guidelines. For one, keep any weed or concentrate out of public view. Two, if you are carrying cannabis in your vehicle, the law requires it to be in a sealed container and kept in a secure location, such as in your trunk or in a locked glovebox or console.
For reference, the law says that an open container is any package with a broken seal that has some product removed. Be sure to be mindful of these open-container references as getting caught with an open container of weed could be as much as a $500 fine.
Can you grow your own cannabis in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts does allow people over the age of 21 to cultivate their own cannabis at home as long as certain conditions are met. Those conditions include:
- You can grow up to six plants per person over the age of 21 but no more than 12 plants at a time
- The growing cannabis must be in a secured location equipped with either a security device or lock
- Your plants can’t openly be visible to the public (e.g. No front porch, open backyard, or window-mounted planting)
In addition, anyone growing cannabis at home cannot use liquid or gas with a flashpoint under 100 degrees for manufacturing. The state of Massachusetts does offer a basic home cultivation guide that goes over the requirements and restrictions.