Medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts in 2012. Yet, almost a decade later, there are still a lot of questions surrounding MMJ in the Bay State, even from patients themselves! Don’t panic: all you need to know about medical marijuana Massachusetts is right here at your disposal.
Do you want to learn the process of getting your medical marijuana card in Massachusetts? Or are you simply concerned about the best dispensaries to buy your marijuana? No matter what, let’s get you the answers to all of your pressing canna-questions in MA.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Massachusetts?
Yes, Medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts.
However, the state didn’t get there easily. Really quickly, we’ll break down the history of medical marijuana in Massachusetts and how it has come to be.
In November 2012, voters approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative (Question 3). Question 3 established the Massachusetts Medical Use Marijuana Program to regulate medical marijuana in Massachusetts.
The voter-approved initiative authorized patients with qualifying medical conditions to access medical cannabis in the state. It also provided a licensing regime for registered cultivators, manufacturers, testing laboratories, distribution, and retail outlets to supply patients with the medical cannabis they need.
Question 3 also allowed registered patients and their designated caregivers to possess a 60-day supply of cannabis. The Initiative removed the criminal and civil penalties for registered patients using medical cannabis and permitted home cultivation by patients of up to six plants.
The Department of Health started issuing I.D. cards to patients and granting licenses to medical dispensaries in 2014.
In 2015, the first medical marijuana dispensary opened in Salem, Massachusetts. This was huge for the residents of the Bay State, as it demonstrated the state’s dedication to actually providing patients with the medical cannabis they need.
Voters approved Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization (Question 4), which legalized adult-use cannabis in the state in 2016.
In 2017, the state enacted H 3818, which established the tax regime for the use of adult cannabis in the state and made provisions concerning local control measures for dispensary licenses.
The measure required municipalities where their majority voters approved Question 4 to hold a referendum proposing the ban of cannabis retail sales. However, in municipalities where most voters already opposed Question 4, the municipality could ban legal retail sales without seeking voter approval.
Thankfully, in 2018, the State Attorney General stated that municipalities could not ban medical dispensaries.
Patients and caregivers got authorization to secure same-day access to medical cannabis after consulting with a clinician in 2019, and it means they can purchase up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days.
Now, you’re up to date!
The Medical Marijuana Massachusetts MMJ Program
The Cannabis Control Commission is in charge of implementing and administering the laws enabling access to medical and adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts. Currently, the Massachusetts Marijuana Program has over 100,000 registered patients.
As a registered patient, medical marijuana Massachusetts law allows you to grow up to six cannabis plants in your home for personal use or up to 12 plants for two or more adults.
You can also decide to apply for a Hardship Cultivation to grow enough cannabis to yield a 60-day supply for your personal medical use.
How Can Patients Get Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts?
There are three significant steps to getting your medical marijuana card to access medical marijuana in Massachusetts.
Step 1: Determine if you’re eligible for a medical marijuana card
Factors that determine if you are eligible for a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts are:
- Age: You must be 18 years or older to be approved by a certified healthcare provider and the state before you can legally possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana. Suppose you are under 18, your parent or guardian must approve of your medical cannabis use, and two Massachusetts-licensed certifying healthcare providers must certify you.
- Residency: Only residents of Massachusetts and their caregivers can get medical marijuana in Massachusetts. Ways to prove that you are a resident of Massachusetts include:
- Utility Bill (less than 60 days old)
- Current Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Registration
- Tuition Bill (less than 60 days old)
- First Class Mail from Federal or State Agency (less than 60 days old)
- U.S. Marriage Certificate (dated within the past six months)
- Property Tax or Excise Tax Bill
- Mortgage, Lease, or Loan (dated within the past six months)
- Car Insurance Policy or Bill (less than 60 days old)
- Current MA-issued Professional License
- Qualifying conditions: Diagnosis with any of the following medical conditions qualify you for medical cannabis in Massachusetts:
Step 2: Get Approved by a Certifying Health Care Provider
Once you have determined that you are eligible based on age and residency, you need the approval of a certified health practitioner verifying that you have one of the qualifying conditions. To do this, your physician will review your medical records, evaluate you, and then certify you for the program if possible.
Certifying Health Care Providers under the Medical Marijuana program of Massachusetts include physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants registered in the program.
Step 3: Apply to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
After approval from a Certifying Health Care Provider, you’ll then submit your medical cannabis patient application online. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A medical marijuana certification from a Certifying Health Care Provider
- A passport-style photo of yourself
- A government-issued photo I.D.
- The 4-digit PIN registration number when your health care provider enters your certification online
If your application is approved, you will receive a temporary version of your medical card, and with this, you can immediately access dispensaries. You get the physical card sent to you within 7-10 business days.
The Best Dispensaries for Medical Marijuana Massachusetts
While all of this information is useful, there are probably many of you out there interested in trying the best dispensaries around. We get that! Here are some of our favorites in Massachusetts state.
Alternative Therapies Group
Alternative Therapies Group is the first marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts, and they’re currently in three different locations.
They provide a safe and enjoyable experience for their patients with various menus, including flowers, edibles, topicals, and concentrates. As a medical patient, there is no restriction to how many times you can visit the dispensary as long as it is within the purchase limits.
Garden Remedies dispensary has been offering premium cannabis grown naturally in Central Massachusetts since 2016. It operates from three different locations in Massachusetts and provides a wide variety of products, including vapes, edibles, concentrates, and tinctures. It has loyalty & bulk discount packages, as well as some overall great prices.
In Good Health
In Good Health is a licensed medical dispensary with two locations in Massachusetts. New patients receive a $25 credit towards their first and second visits with a $30 minimum order. Plus, all patients are also automatically enrolled in the dispensary’s rewards program!
The dispensary offers a 15% discount to those who qualify for financial hardship. It also has a wide variety of products on its menus ranging from flowers to pre-rolls, making it ideal for any customer with any budget.
Sira Naturals is famous for its high-quality cannabis, and it supplies wholesale cannabis to over 20 companies. It has a wide range of products such as concentrates, flowers, and extracts. You can shop in-store, order online, or schedule fast cannabis delivery from the dispensary. (Did we say delivery? You bet. Read more about the Massachusetts cannabis delivery program here.)
Keep in Mind These Massachusetts Rules and Regulations
Don’t forget these rules and regulations if you are a registered cannabis patient in Massachusetts:
- Patients who present their cards to medical cannabis retailers are exempt from taxes levied on medical cannabis.
- In Massachusetts, it is illegal to smoke, vape, or eat medical marijuana in any form in public places or federal land. Also, you cannot smoke cannabis where it is illegal to smoke tobacco. The Cannabis Control Commission allows local jurisdictions to make their own rules about cafes, smoke rooms, or other places for social consumption.
- Registered patients and their caregivers can carry medical marijuana in their vehicles. However, it has to be in a sealed container in their trunk or locked in the glove compartment.
- Employers, landlords, cities, and towns are allowed to have their policies governing the use of marijuana, so you need to check the rules that apply where you live or work.
- Driving across state lines with medical marijuana in any form is illegal. The law also prohibits transporting medical marijuana either plane, train, or boat outside Massachusetts. It is also unlawful to drive under the influence of cannabis.
- Sending medical marijuana by mail is illegal, including sending it to states or countries where medical marijuana is legal.
Should You Enjoy Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts? With Elevate, You Can Soon.
At Elevate Holistics, we believe that our patients should freely access cannabis physicians who care about their cannabis journey and well-being regardless of age and location. That is what we currently offer to our long list of patients across eight different states. In the coming months, we’re extending our teleservices to patients in Massachusetts, too. When we do, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment with a board-certified cannabis doctor 100% online, 100% hassle-free.
Feel free to join our mailing list to get updates when we fully open our doors to Massachusetts patients. But, until then, Elevate Holistics has plenty of Massachusetts-related resources for you to read through. This way, by the time we open our digital doors to the Bay State, you’ll be a master of MMJ in MA.
MMJ Resources for Massachusetts Residents:
If you’ve got questions about medical marijuana in Massachusetts, we’ve got answers. Check out our FAQs!
Curious about the weed laws in the Bay State? Read all about them here.
Can’t wait until we start MA operations? We get it. Book an appointment through our partners at Heally, instead. Just click here.