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Is Marijuana Legal in Massachusetts?

Jul, 2022
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No matter where you’re at — from Massachusetts to California —  you must understand the cannabis laws in your area. These laws tell you everything you need to know about marijuana in the state you find yourself in, including how to access it, the possession limit, and so much more. Speaking of the Bay State, what do Michigan marijuana laws look like?  

And that brings us to today’s focus. Is marijuana legal in Massachusetts? Can you buy, possess, and use marijuana in The Bay State? 

is marijuana legal in Massachusetts

In November 2016, Voters in Massachusetts voted in favor of The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as Question 4, with 53.59% of the site.

The initiative legalized the purchase, possession, and use of recreational cannabis for anyone 21 and older and created the Cannabis Control Commission to regulate marijuana in the state.

The state commenced retail sales in late November 2018. This marked the first time any state in the US East Cost allowed the sale of recreational marijuana to anyone 21 and over.

Within the first two months, the cash was already rolling in as retailers sold almost $24 million worth of marijuana. 

How to Qualify for Medical Marijuanas in MA

If you want to register for medical marijuana in Massachusetts, you must first:

  • Be aged 18 or older – Patients younger than 18 require approval from their parent or legal guardian and certification by two Certifying Healthcare Providers, one of whom must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.
  • Be a Massachusetts resident with proof of residency – Valid proof of residency includes a state-issued driver’s license, a state-issued ID card with your photograph, and a current US passport or US military ID.
  • Have a written certification from a Certifying Healthcare Provider. 
  • Provide a personal identification number – After you get your physician certification, you’ll receive an email containing your four-digit PIN registration number and instructions on completing your patient registration. 
  • Provide a recent, color passport photograph of yourself.
  • Have one of the following qualifying medical conditions

How to Get a Medical Marijuanas Card in Massachusetts 

To register as a medical marijuana patient, you must get a Massachusetts medical marijuanas card.

Unlike some other states, a medical marijuanas card in Massachusetts costs nothing — there’s no application fee. More so, the process is easy. 

Step 1 – Get Physician Certification

First, you must get a written certification from a Certifying Health Care Provider. Patients aged 18 and under must be certified by two healthcare providers, and one of them must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist. 

Step 2 – Identification

Get your ID ready; you could use a driver’s license or a government-issued ID.  

Step 3 – Passport Photo

Get your passport photo ready. Your passport-like photo must be: 

  • A color photo
  • A square photo in portrait/upright format
  • Taken with a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken within the last six months
  • A picture of only your head and top of your shoulders
  • Taken at eye level with you looking directly at the camera
  • No smile nor eyewear with both eyes open
  • Taken without any head or face coverings except for religious purposes 

Step 4 – Application

Visit the Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System and click the “Register as a Patient” button. Fill in the required information and submit your application. 

You can find a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the Massachusetts medical marijuana card online application here.

(Don’t forget that Elevate Holistics can help you book an appointment for certification and make the process hassle-free) 

Massachusetts Marijuana Laws

Medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts in November 2012 when voters passed the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative known as Question 3 with 63% of the vote.

The initiative allowed patients with qualifying conditions to obtain a physician certification and enjoy medical marijuana for their conditions. It also authorized the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to regulate medical marijuana in the state. 

is marijuana legal in Massachusetts

We can’t talk about marijuana without talking about Massachusetts marijuana laws because they regulate everything to do with marijuana in the state.

Usually, when marijuana becomes legal for medical or recreational purposes, states enact laws to guide how patients and consumers buy, possess, grow, and use marijuana.

If you don’t know these laws, it’s possible to commit marijuana offenses even though it’s legal. 

How Much Marijuana Can You Possess in Massachusetts?

Medical and recreational marijuana is legal, but the possession limit is one law that patients and users are most likely to go against. 

Recreational users 21 and older can possess up to one ounce of marijuana on their person and up to 10 ounces at home.

On the other hand, medical marijuana patients can possess up to a 60-day supply; their physician defines this amount.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission advises that you store all marijuana at home in child-proof packaging and locked in a secure place where kids and pets can’t reach it.  

LEARN MORE: Massachusetts Recreational Weed vs. MMJ: What's the Difference?

Age Limit for Recreational Marijuana Purchase 

Recreational marijuana is legal for only adults aged 21 and above. The penalties for violating this rule include the following:

  • Anyone aged 18-20 who purchases or tries to purchase marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana accessories will be fined $100 and be required to complete a drug awareness program. This rule does not include medical marijuana patients.
  • Anyone under 18 who purchases or tries to purchase marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana accessories will be fined up to $100, be required to complete a drug awareness program, and the authorities will notify their parent or legal guardian.
  • Anyone under 17 who purchases or tries to purchase marijuana will face a fine of up to $100 and be required to complete a drug awareness program. The authorities will notify their parent or legal guardian. They must complete the drug awareness program within one year of the offense or risk delinquency proceedings. 

Massachusetts Marijuana DUI

You can’t drive under the influence of cannabis even if you’re a medical marijuana patient. Also, it is illegal to have an open container of cannabis in the passenger area of your car. 

If law officials catch you violating while on the road or in a public space, you face a $100 civil penalty. 

Yes, Massachusetts marijuana laws allow you to grow MMJ at home.

Registered medical marijuana patients can grow up to twelve flowering plants and twelve vegetative plants for personal use.

Patients who want to grow more than the specified limit can apply for a Hardship Cultivation license, which allows patients to grow enough marijuana for a 60-day supply for medical use. You can learn all about Hardship Cultivation here.

Adult users can grow a maximum of six or 12 plants per household. 

However, the plants must not be visible to the naked eye from a public space. Violation attracts a $300 fine, and the state will forfeit the plants.

If you’re a patient or user who would love to grow their marijuana at home but doesn’t know how? We have a guide for you here.

Also, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has specific regulations for growing marijuana at home here. 

Penalty for Growing More Than 12 Plants in Massachusetts 

If you want to grow marijuana in Massachusetts, it’s important that you stick to the legal limits.

The various penalties for a violation include the following:

  • Recreational users who grow more than six plants but no more than twelve will get a $100 fine, and the authorities will confiscate the unauthorized amount of marijuana.
  • Anyone aged 18-20 who grows 12 plants or less but is not a medical marijuana patient will be given a civil penalty of $100, and the state will require them to complete a drug awareness program.
  • Anyone aged under 18 who grows 12 marijuana plants or less will face a $100 civil penalty. In addition, the state will require them to complete a drug awareness program and notify their parent or legal guardian. 
  • Anyone under 17 years caught growing 12 marijuana plants, or less will face a $100 civil penalty. The state will also require them to complete a drug awareness program and notify their parent or legal guardian. If they fail to complete the drug awareness program within one year of the offense, they may face delinquency proceedings. 

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts?

While medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, it is still a Schedule I drug federally, and no doctor or health care practitioner can prescribe it.

However, doctors and other licensed healthcare practitioners can issue certifications.

is marijuana legal in massachusetts

In Massachusetts, healthcare providers must first register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program and get a Massachusetts medical marijuanas license before giving medical marijuana certifications to qualifying patients. 

A certifying healthcare provider in Massachusetts must be one of the following:

  • Massachusetts-licensed physician (Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy) who: 
    • Holds an active full license with no prescribing restrictions
    • Holds a Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration (MCSR)
    • Has at least one established place of practice in Massachusetts 
  • Massachusetts-licensed certified nurse practitioner (CNP) who:  
    • Holds an active full license with no prescribing restrictions to practice nursing in Massachusetts
    • Holds a board authorization by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to practice as a CNP in Massachusetts
    • Has at least one established place of practice in Massachusetts
    • Holds an MCSR

Getting a medical marijuanas license in Massachusetts involves a few simple steps. Click here for details.  

What is a Medical Marijuana Caregiver in Massachusetts?

Patients who require assistance with medical marijuana need a caregiver. A caregiver is a person who assists a registered patient with their use of medical marijuana.

In The Bay State, patients can have up to two caregivers, and patients aged 18 and under must have a caregiver. 

Caregivers must be 21 and older and registered in the Medical Use of Marijuana Program. You can learn all about caregivers, their duties, and registration here

You can buy marijuana in Massachusetts only at licensed retailers that the Cannabis Control Commission vets.

Only people 21 years or older can purchase cannabis and cannabis-infused products, but this age restriction does not apply to medical marijuana patients.

You can find the names and locations of legal marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts here. 

Marijuana in Massachusetts: Seamless Services With Elevate Holistics 

You’ll hear of different marijuana laws in different states, but you can always count on Elevate Holistics to make marijuana access easy for you – our mission is to provide complete marijuana services that offer you remote, hassle-free access.

If you have more questions about marijuana in Massachusetts, see our Massachusetts FAQ cannabis page. Our word is our bond; if we say it, we mean it. So, believe us when we say you can count on us for all your marijuana needs.

Do you need help getting a Massachusetts medical marijuanas card, finding a qualified doctor, or locating a licensed retailer? Book a call with us today, and let’s get started.