Massachusetts recreational weed laws say you can now use cannabis for adult-use purposes. But, how is this any different than MMJ in Massachusetts? Is having a medical card still worth it?

Let’s take you on a journey that cuts across Massachusetts recreational cannabis laws and Massachusetts medical cannabis laws. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision about whether or not a Massachusetts medical marijuana card is right for you. Let’s jump right into it. 

Massachusetts recreational weed vs. medical

Massachusetts Recreational Cannabis Laws

Massachusetts is one of the US States that have legalized both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. In 2016, Massachusetts passed Question 4, which legalized adult-use cannabis in the state. 

However, even though recreational weed is legal in Massachusetts, there are still some things you need to bear in mind to stay out of trouble with the law. 

Who Can Purchase Adult-Use Cannabis?

Massachusetts recreational cannabis laws provide that you must be at least 21 years old to access recreational cannabis. It means at the point of purchasing marijuana, you will be required to present a valid ID card, and the seller will conduct checks to verify your identity. In addition, recreational weed Massachusetts laws limit the quantity you can buy, sell and consume.

What are the Possession Limits on Recreational Weed in Massachusetts?

If you’re enjoying recreational weed in Massachusetts, the law only permits you to purchase up to one ounce of flower or five grams at a time. The state places a limit on edibles, stating they only contain a maximum of 5mg of THC. 

When it comes to possession of adult-use cannabis, laws surrounding Massachusetts recreational weed allow you to possess up to ten ounces of cannabis in your home. However, you have to ensure that it is safely locked up. When driving, you are not allowed to have an open container of any form of marijuana in the passenger area of your car or use your marijuana for recreational purposes in any public place.

Can People From Out of State Purchase Cannabis in the Bay State?

People from out of state can purchase adult-use cannabis in Massachusetts. However, they will need a valid ID card to show they are 21 years or older. 

Keep in mind that the same recreational marijuana Massachusetts laws that state residents must follow also apply to non-residents. Thus, the limit for non-residents is still one ounce of flower. In addition, if you are from out of state, it is illegal to take cannabis out of Massachusetts. This is because marijuana remains an illegal substance under federal laws. Consequently, if you get caught crossing a state line, recreational marijuana Massachusetts regulations will not protect you.

You should note that even though recreational marijuana in Massachusetts is legal, property owners or local governments still have the liberty to prohibit or make laws regulating the use or possession of marijuana in their buildings. Your employer can also implement work policies restricting the consumption of marijuana by employees.

Massachusetts Recreational Weed Laws vs. MMJ Regulations

Marijuana has been legal for medical use in Massachusetts since 2012 when the state passed the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative (Question 3). The medical marijuana program of Massachusetts does not allow out-of-state residents. 

More so, residents of Massachusetts need to have any of the qualifying medical conditions to get a medical marijuana card in the state. Some of these conditions include:

Should Massachusetts Recreational Weed Legalization Stop You From Getting Your MMJ Card?

Now to the primary question on your mind: Should recreational marijuana Massachusetts’ legalization stop you from getting your MMJ card? No, of course not!

The legalization of recreational weed in Massachusetts should not stop you from getting your medical marijuana card if you qualify as a patient under the medical marijuana program of the state. There are so many benefits you stand to gain by having your MMJ card in Massachusetts. And, if you don’t believe us, here’s a look for yourself. 

The Benefits of an MA MMJ Card: Higher Possession Limits

Massachusetts medical weed sign

Under the medical marijuana laws of Massachusetts, a registered patient can purchase up to a 60-days supply of 10 ounces from a dispensary with each prescription. The limit on recreational cannabis you can purchase at once is one ounce of flower. 

So, with your Massachusetts medical card, you can access the higher quantity needed for treating your medical condition. 

In addition, you also have a more comprehensive range of higher-dose products to make your choice.  For instance, Massachusetts recreational weed laws provide that recreational dispensaries can only sell edibles with 5mg of THC per serving. If you purchase multiple servings, the total must not have more than 20 single servings or 100mg of THC. That limit does not exist for medical marijuana cardholders, as they can access edibles containing as high as 100mg THC.

You Save Money

Massachusetts laws exempt medical patients from paying taxes on medical marijuana, so, as a cardholder, you’re saving yourself a good chunk of change. That’s because the sales tax rate for recreational users is a whopping 6.25%. 

Adult-use consumers also have to pay a 10.75% state excise tax on recreational marijuana purchases and the 3% local tax their city may charge. This means that if you don’t have your MMJ card, you’ll pay around 20% in taxes during each purchase. 

On the flip side, as a cardholder, if you buy a product that costs $100, you pay $100. Plain and simple. However, if you do not have your MMJ card, you’ll end up paying $120. Once you do the math, it's evident that having your medical card is worth it to save yourself some cash.

You Always Have Priority

As a medical marijuana patient, you know how important it is to have your medication. Because marijuana is legal for recreational and medical purposes in Massachusetts, the state has decided to protect your interest by requiring that dispensaries reserve 35% of medical-grade cannabis for medical patients. 

In medical marijuana dispensaries strictly for medical patients, you can only access your Massachusetts medical marijuana card. However, as a medical marijuana patient with a valid card, you have priority over recreational users in dispensaries that service both medical and recreational patients. In addition, there are usually shorter lines for medical marijuana patients in these dispensaries. Most shops have dedicated areas for their medical marijuana patients. Fancy!

The Age Limitation for Medical Cardholders is Lower

If you are 18 years or older with a qualifying medical condition, you can apply for your medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. However, if you are not a medical cannabis user, you will need to wait until you are 21 years old before purchasing from a recreational cannabis dispensary.

Elevate Holistics: Your Go-To Massachusetts MMJ Doctors

Now that you know the numerous benefits of having your MMJ card, let Elevate Holistics help you with the process of getting one. (But, if you still want to learn about recreational weed Massachusetts laws or medical weed Massachusetts laws, we are always on hand to help.) 

Elevate Holistics is the best telehealth platform to help you get your medical marijuana card recommendation from the comfort of your home — securely and efficiently.  Soon, we will start offering our services to patients in Massachusetts, and we want you to know when we do. Sign up with our mailing list below and get notified the minute we begin servicing the Bay State.


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.

Interestingly, Massachusetts allows cannabis delivery. Learn about this unique system through our blog post.