Cannabis laws fluctuate from state to state, making it tough to keep up with specific regulations when you move or travel. Today, we’re helping you master Massachusetts marijuana laws. This way, the next time you find yourself in the Pilgrim State and wanting to puff on some MMJ, you’ll know exactly what you can and cannot do. 

First, let’s start with the question on everybody’s mind: is weed legal in Massachusetts?

massachusetts marijuana laws

Yes, Massachusetts legalized medical cannabis back in 2012 with the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative. This vote allowed those with qualifying medical conditions to get access to MMJ and shop within dispensaries. 

At the time, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulated the medical cannabis market. But, as regulations have changed and the state has progressed with marijuana laws, this is no longer the case. Today, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission regulates cannabis throughout the state.   

The qualifying conditions for getting your Massachusetts medical card are outlined below: 

If your condition isn’t on this list, don’t panic. Your healthcare provider may consider any other debilitating condition worthy of MMJ and grant you your medical recommendation. 

Along with medical marijuana, Massachusetts marijuana laws have also legalized recreational consumption in the Pilgrim State. The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative passed in 2016, allowing those who are 21 years old and older to purchase cannabis in the state. 

Even though the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2016, it wasn’t until 2018 that retail sales actually started. Residents waited quite some time for these adult-use dispensaries to roll out, and they were a bit taken aback by the amount of tax placed upon recreational cannabis versus medical. While medical patients’ products are tax-free, recreational consumers are subject to nearly 20% tax on all adult-use cannabis. Ouch.

Find out more about the difference between Massachusetts medical cannabis and recreational cannabis here.

Is Massachusetts a Reciprocal Medical Marijuana State?

Unfortunately, Massachusetts cannabis laws currently do not allow cannabis reciprocity. This means that out-of-state medical patients cannot use their medical cards in Massachusetts dispensaries to purchase products. 

However, recreational cannabis is legal in the Pilgrim State. So, as long as you’re 21 years old or older, you can walk into a licensed dispensary and purchase cannabis products. Just make sure you have your ID on you! Otherwise, you won’t be able to go in — let alone buy some flower.   

LEARN MORE: Your Ultimate Guide to Medical Marijuana Massachusetts

How Many Marijuana Plants Can I Grow in Massachusetts?

Growing medical marijuana in Massachusetts is 100% legal as long as you follow proper regulations. When you register for your MMJ card, you will apply for a hardship registration to show that you’d like to cultivate cannabis at home. 

If you’re a medical patient, you’re allowed to cultivate as many plants as you need to give yourself a 60-day supply of medical marijuana. This equates to 12 flowering and 12 vegetative cannabis plants.

If you’re a recreational consumer, you’re not out of luck! Massachusetts cannabis laws allow those 21 and older to grow up to six plants per person (and 12 plants per household) in a home. Growers must keep their plants in secure, locked locations that aren’t accessible to the public.  

Yes! When you’re buying weed in Massachusetts, you’re legally allowed to purchase infused products like edibles and drinkables. Edibles have to have strict labeling regulations, but you will find myriad products on your local dispensary’s shelves.  

Marijuana Possession Massachusetts 

Massachusetts marijuana laws allow for medical patients to possess a 60-day supply of cannabis at one time. This equates to 10 ounces. However, the plants you possess at home do not count towards this 60-day supply, so you may possess more than this at one time, legally. 

Adult-use consumers can also possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis and up to 1.5 ounces of concentrates in the home. Again, recreational consumers can also choose to grow cannabis at home. Do keep in mind that if you violate Massachusetts possession limits, you will be faced with some hefty fines. 

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Caregiver Laws

Massachusetts cannabis laws state that patients who require assistance purchasing or administering cannabis may have a primary caregiver go through the process for them. Caregivers have to be at least 21 years old and cannot have more than one patient at once. 

To become a caregiver, you must first register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program using their patient’s physician-provided PIN number. Then, you’ll fill out the state’s application, providing all necessary information and documents. As long as you follow the prompts, you should hear back about your caregiver application within a few weeks.  

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Age Limit 

When it comes to recreational cannabis, you have to be at least 21 years old to purchase products in Massachusetts. However, this isn’t the case with medical cannabis. 

In Massachusetts, it really doesn’t matter how old you are. If you qualify for medical cannabis, you can get your MMJ card. However, if you are under the age of 18, you cannot do this process on your own. Minors wishing to receive their medical cards must have a designated caregiver who will purchase, transport, and provide medical cannabis products to them. Typically, the parents of minors will register to be their designated caregiver, as this makes the most sense. But, any parental figure or guardian works well, too. 

If you’re 18 or older, you can get a Massachusetts medical card all on your own, no problem. However, if you do have disability or accessibility complications, you can still have a designated caregiver depending on your situation. 

Limits to Marijuana Purchase in Massachusetts

When it comes to purchasing limits, Massachusetts marijuana laws are the same as possession limits. Adult-use consumers cannot purchase more than 10 ounces of cannabis per month, and patients cannot exceed their 60-day supply.

Keep in mind that recreational consumers cannot have more than one ounce of product on their person at one time. So, if you’re in public or driving to your destination, make sure you don’t have more than one ounce of cannabis with you. Otherwise, you’re breaking the law. 

Marijuana Dispensary Laws in Massachusetts 

The dispensary laws in Massachusetts are similar to those throughout the rest of the country. If you’re not a medical patient, you must be at least 21 years old to even enter. Typically, many dispensaries will check your ID at the door to ensure that you’re of age. Because of this, you need to make sure you have a government-issued ID on you whenever you go to buy weed.

Medical patients are in a similar boat. However, you must be at least 18 years old to go into a dispensary with your medical card. When entering, you will present your medical card and usually your ID to show the employees it is legal for you to be there. If you’re under 18 and have a medical card, you must have a designated caregiver (at least 21 years old) go into the dispensary and purchase products on your behalf. 

Where Am I Allowed to Smoke Marijuana in Massachusetts? 

Just because weed is legal in Massachusetts doesn’t mean you can consume it anywhere. Public consumption of cannabis is illegal under Massachusetts marijuana laws. You can only consume your marijuana products in private residences; if you don’t own the residence, you must get permission from your landlord.

You cannot smoke marijuana in your car or in any parks, playgrounds, campuses, or public areas. If you do, you’ll be faced with fines and punishments depending on the severity of the offense.