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Medical Marijuana in Boston, MA
If you live in Boston, MA, and you are wondering if weed is legal, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Elevate Holistics, we get that cannabis can be more than confusing. That’s why, today, we’re focusing specifically on medical marijuana in Boston, MA.
Below, Elevate has provided information on everything you need to know, including applying for a medical marijuana license in Boston, getting your Boston marijuana medical card, and locating Boston area medical marijuana dispensaries.
Is Marijuana Legal in Boston?
Yes, both medical and adult-use or recreational marijuana are legal in Boston.
Massachusetts State legalized medical marijuana via ballot in November 2012, when voters approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative, known as Question 3. With the approval of Question 3, the state established the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program to regulate medical marijuana. Before then, Marijuana regulation was under the Department of Public Health.
The legalization of recreational marijuana followed four years later when the Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative—known as Question 4—was passed by voters in November 2016. Question 4 legalized cannabis for adults aged 21 and older and created the Cannabis Control Commission to regulate marijuana sales.
Question 4 hit a bump in the road when the houses disagreed on the bill’s terms. But eventually, a compromise was reached, and Governor Charlie Baker approved and signed the bill into law as H3818 in July 2017.
The bill allowed jurisdictions that voted against legalization to ban sales via a city council vote, and jurisdictions that voted for the bill can ban sales via referendum.
Benefits of a Medical Marijuana Card
Why do you need a medical marijuana card? Well, the benefits of a medical marijuana card include:
- Legal protection: The most apparent reason for getting an MMJ card is so you can legally purchase marijuana. While marijuana is illegal at the federal level, an MMJ card allows you to buy medical marijuana in Boston (since it is legal in your state of residence).
- Affordable marijuana: The card exempts medical marijuana patients from paying the excise and retail taxes applied to recreational marijuana.
- Lower age restrictions: Generally, the minimum age limit for medical marijuana is 18, while recreational marijuana is 21.
- Higher possession limits: The possession limit for recreational marijuana is very strict, but medical patients can purchase several days’ worth of marijuana.
- Access to more potent marijuana: Recreational marijuana consumers must abide by stringent potency rules, but some medical marijuana patients may require more potent marijuana to treat their symptoms.
- Reciprocity: If you’re traveling to a state with reciprocity laws, your MMJ card allows you to buy medical marijuana there.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Boston, MA
Before you can access medical marijuana in Boston, MA, you need to apply for a medical marijuana card. Getting your card involves a simple process:
The first step to getting your Boston marijuana medical card is to obtain a doctor’s recommendation. The doctor must be a qualified healthcare provider. When you meet your doctor, you must come along with your medical record, discuss your medical history, and explain your health situation and why you believe you will benefit from medical marijuana treatment. If your doctor approves, they will fill and submit an electronic patient certification to the Medical Use of Marijuana program.
Register With the State
After the doctor has sent your certification to the Medical Use of Marijuana Program, you must complete your registration. You’ll receive an email with your 4-digit PIN and instructions on how to complete your patient application. (You can register online or paper registration.)
The online registration using the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System is fast and convenient, in only two parts.
The first part is the virtual gateway, where you’ll be asked to create an account and scan your photo ID. After you’ve completed that step, you’ll receive an email that will allow you to set up your patient account.
In the second step, you’ll receive an email link to the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System after you’ve completed the steps in the virtual gateway. In this section, you’ll need to upload your photo ID and a current passport-style photo that will appear on your patient ID card. For detailed information on the online patient application process, check here.
If you are unable to register online, paper registration is available. However, this process is lengthy and not as convenient as online registration. To request a paper registration form, call (833) 869-6820.
Receive Your Boston Marijuana Card
If your application is approved, you’ll receive a temporary Boston marijuana medical card that you can print. With this card, you can purchase medical marijuana at any Boston dispensary.
Patient registration is renewed annually, and we advise that you renew 60 days before expiration.
Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana?
To qualify for Boston marijuana medical card, applicants must be:
- Massachusetts residents aged at least 18 or minor with a caregiver
- A legal resident of Massachusetts with proof of residency
- Diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a qualified physician
The qualifying conditions are:
- Hepatitis C
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Other debilitating conditions as determined in writing by a certified physician
Dispensaries in Boston, MA
If you’re wondering how to get weed in Boston, there’s good news! Thanks to the Cannabis Control Commission website, finding weed in Boston is not difficult. Just visit the website to discover Boston area medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.
How Much is a Medical Card?
Registration for Medical Use of Marijuana Program card is free. However, certified health care providers may charge a fee for certification visits. If you lose your card and need a replacement, it costs $10, and if you’re unable to pay, you may request a waiver.
The cost of your MMJ doctor’s appointment will vary depending on where you go. These appointments may range anywhere from $75 to $250.
Is marijuana legal in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts marijuana legalization began in 2008, when the state opted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. In 2012, the state legalized medical marijuana for patients with certain chronic health conditions. As a result, dispensaries started opening in 2013. Towns in Massachusetts are not allowed to completely ban medical dispensaries, although they can pass their own regulations on them. This makes marijuana accessible to patients throughout the state who need it.
Recreational marijuana in Massachusetts was legalized in 2016. Users could begin growing up to 6 plans at home at this time. However, Massachusetts recreational dispensaries did not open until 2018. While individual towns are not allowed to ban medical dispensaries, they are allowed to ban recreational dispensaries.
Does Massachusetts have medical marijuana?
Yes, the state of Massachusetts has made medical marijuana available to patients who need it since 2013. Although there is a recreational marijuana program in Massachusetts, patients with chronic health conditions can still apply for a medical marijuana card.
There are benefits to getting a medical marijuana card if you qualify for one. For example, medical marijuana is taxed at a much lower rate than recreational marijuana, so you’ll save money in the long run. Additionally, medical marijuana cardholders have much higher possession limits, which means you can purchase larger quantities at one time than a recreational patient without facing any fines or legal penalties. Medical dispensaries also sell higher-dose products than recreational dispensaries.
Does Medicaid cover medical marijuana?
Medicaid does not currently cover medical marijuana products. This is because marijuana is not yet legal on a federal level. Private health insurance companies also will not cover medical marijuana, for the same reason. This means patients will not only pay for medical marijuana products on their own, but also the Massachusetts medical card registration fee and any doctor’s appointments related to medical marijuana. Patients who are enrolled in MassHealth can have their registration fee waived.
How old do you have to be to buy edibles?
Edible products are available at both recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. If you want to purchase edibles from a Massachusetts recreational dispensary, you must be over the age of 21. However, anyone with a qualifying condition over the age of 18 can get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. This means that you can purchase edibles at a younger age with a medical marijuana card.
Patients under the age of 18 with a qualifying medical condition can also get a medical card and purchase edibles with the help of a caregiver. In Massachusetts, this caregiver must be your parent or legal guardian if you are under 18. The caregiver will visit the medical dispensary and purchase products for you. Adult patients who are physically unable to visit the dispensary can also designate a caregiver. For adult patients, the caregiver does not have to be a parent or family member.
Do you need a medical card for dispensaries in Massachusetts?
Because recreational marijuana in Massachusetts is legal, you do not need a medical card to visit most dispensaries. In fact, you don’t even need to be a resident of Massachusetts – you just need to have a government-issued ID and be over the age of 21.
However, you will need a medical card to visit a Massachusetts medical dispensary. These dispensaries are only available to qualifying patients. They offer lower tax rates and sell higher quantities of marijuana.
How old do you have to be to buy marijuana?
To buy Massachusetts recreational weed, you must be over the age of 21. However, there is more flexibility for patients with qualifying medical conditions. Anyone over the age of 18 who has the conditions that qualify for a medical card can apply in Massachusetts. Caregivers can also purchase medical marijuana for pediatric patients who qualify.