Is marijuana in Massachusetts legal for medical or recreational use?

Yes, both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Massachusetts. Medical marijuana passed in 2012 and went into effect in 2013. Qualifying patients 18 years of age or older can purchase and use medical marijuana from several dispensaries throughout the state.

Question 4 passed in the November 2016 elections, legalizing recreational cannabis across the state. However, dispensaries opened in November of 2018. Adults 21 years of age and older are legally allowed to purchase cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries and possess up to one ounce of marijuana (or 5 grams of concentrate) outside of their residence. Up to 10 ounces of marijuana can be stored inside their residence, so long as it is in a locked container away from public view. 

How much marijuana can I possess in Massachusetts?

Registered medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to possess up to 10 ounces every 60 days (or more if their recommending physician deems it necessary). Thanks to the newly passed Question 4, any adult 21 years of age or older is legally allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis or 5 grams of concentrate outside of their residence and and up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside of their residence.

How do I qualify as a medical marijuana patient?

A patient must obtain a written certification from a physician for a debilitating medical condition. The law specifies: cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician. Once a physician's certification is secured, the patient must register with the state. There is no fee for registering with the Cannabis Control Commission.

Will health insurers or governments be required to cover the cost of marijuana for medical use?

No. Nothing in the law requires any health insurance provider, or any government agency or authority, to reimburse any person for the expenses of the medical use of marijuana.

Are there purchasing limits as a medical marijuana card holder in MA?

Yes. The amount of medical marijuana you can purchase in Massachusetts is limited to a sixty-day supply of up to 10 ounces from a dispensary with each prescription. You may be able to purchase more if your doctor deems it medically necessary.

Is public consumption legal?

No. Although medical and recreational marijuana are both legal in Massachusetts, you can't consume cannabis in public. That includes on public transportation, parks, schools, sidewalks, and other public places. Legal use is limited to your home or the homes of your friends.

Is it legal to transport marijuana in MA?

Unless you are an adult 21 years of age or older, a registered medical marijuana patient, caregiver, or an agent of a registered marijuana dispensary, transporting marijuana in Massachusetts is illegal. If you have a medicinal marijuana ID card, you can carry as much marijuana as your doctor prescribes you for a 60-day supply. As we said before, that limit is 10 ounces unless your doctor prescribes otherwise.

Caregivers may transport a patient to and from marijuana dispensaries or purchase marijuana for the patient from a dispensary and transport it to the patient. Agents of dispensaries are allowed to transport marijuana to other dispensaries, testing facilities, and to the homes of caregivers and registered patients. Adults 21 years Adults 21 years of age and older may legally transport their legal limit of cannabis within the state.

What if I am disabled or live too far from a dispensary?

A qualifying patient can either apply for a hardship cultivation registration or work with a caregiver to purchase their medical marijuana.

What is a caregiver?

A registered caregiver is a person registered with the Department of Public Health who has agreed to assist a registered patient with their medical marijuana use. For example, a nurse, hospice worker, or home health aide may serve as a registered caregiver. They serve patients who are unable to physically travel to a registered dispensary.

What are the requirements for personal caregivers?

Except in the case of an employee of a hospice provider, nursing facility, or medical facility providing care to a qualifying patient admitted to or residing at that facility, or a visiting nurse, home health aide, personal care attendant, or immediate family member of more than one registered qualifying patient, an individual may not serve as a personal caregiver for more than one registered qualifying patient at one time.

Can I grow marijuana or can my caregiver grow marijuana for me?

If you are a qualifying patient AND you qualify as having a “hardship,” yes. A hardship means that you are unable to access a treatment center for one of several reasons. If there is no treatment center within a reasonable distance of your residence, or none have opened yet, then either you or your caregiver can grow medical marijuana for you. It must be grown in an enclosed, locked facility, and you can only grow enough to maintain a 60-day supply of marijuana for your own use. The regulations define a 60-day supply as up to 10 ounces.

Adults 21 years of age or older are legally allowed to grow up to 6 cannabis plants with a limit of 12 plants per household.