Both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in Massachusetts.
Medical marijuana was legalized in 2012 with the passing of Ballot Question 3 in 2012. Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2016. Under Massachusetts law, it is legal to be in possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of marijuana concentrate, and up to 10 ounces of marijuana if kept at home. It is also legal to grow up to six plants or up to 12 if other people are in the house.
It is easiest to find a dispensary in Boston, but there are a number of other dispensaries located throughout the state.
How to Get a Medical Card in Massachusetts
To register as a medical marijuana recipient in Massachusetts, applicants must first acquire certification from a qualified healthcare provider, who will provide the applicant with a PIN number to register online for the program. Applicants can also apply by mail if they don’t have access to the online registration, though the process is more lengthy.
Online, applicants have the option to designate a personal caregiver to assist with their medical use of marijuana.
In addition to the PIN number, applicants must submit a valid form of ID, a passport-style photograph, and proof of Massachusetts residency. If approved, the license should arrive in the mail in one to two weeks, according to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
Registration costs $50, and as of late 2019, patients no longer have to pay the annual $50 renewal fee.
The qualifying conditions for which patients in Massachusetts can receive medical cannabis include:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Massachusetts state regulations define “debilitating” as “causing weakness, cachexia, wasting syndrome, intractable pain, or nausea, or impairing strength or ability, and progressing to such an extent that one or more of a patient’s major life activities is substantially limited.”
Where to Buy
Medical marijuana can be purchased at dozens of medical dispensaries in the state.
Recreational marijuana can be purchased at licensed dispensaries. The greatest concentration of dispensaries is in Boston, but you can find cannabis throughout Massachusetts.
Massachusetts does not honor out-of-state medical marijuana licenses.
Taxes and Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts
Medical marijuana is exempt from sales tax and the excise tax imposed on retail marijuana sales in Massachusetts.
Can you grow cannabis?
Yes, you can grow your own cannabis plants in Massachusetts. Adults over 21 years old are allowed to have up to six plants each, not exceeding 12 plants in a home with more than one adult. If you are a medical patient, you can grow enough cannabis to afford yourself with a 60-day supply, or around 10 oz.
However, the law states that these plants must not be visible from a public place, which can be limiting to residents of cities like Boston. Plants must be secured in a room with a lock and landlords can refuse to allow grows.
You cannot travel over state lines with cannabis, but you can buy weed nearly anywhere in Massachusetts. There are dozens of dispensaries just off the highway and most are heavily advertised. Be advised if you’re visiting Boston that smoking weed in a public place is still illegal.
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