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Massachusetts Marijuana Laws

Curious about Massachusetts marijuana laws? If you have questions about medical or recreational cannabis use in the Pilgrim state, you’re in the right place. Read on for facts and FAQs that’ll bring you up to speed on how to legally consume cannabis in Massachusetts.

Is Marijuana Legal in Massachusetts?

Yes, marijuana, both medical and recreational, are legal in the state of Massachusetts. In fact, since 2018, marijuana retailers have made over $1.45 billion, earning over $90 million in sales tax to the state’s benefit.

Adapting to new models of distribution and use has created a wellspring of opportunity for the marijuana industry in Massachusetts. Along with that growth, regulations have been put into effect on all aspects of marijuana legalization to help ensure safe and effective use.

Is Medical Cannabis Legal?

Yes. Medical cannabis in Massachusetts is legal.

Massachusetts residents who qualify can register through their health care provider as a patient and take advantage of many resources the state has to offer.

Benefits for registered medical patients include:

  • Access to any state-licensed dispensaries to make purchases.
  • Patients can purchase a 60-day supply (or 10 ounces) of cannabis from a marijuana dispensary.
  • Caregivers are allowed to pick up and deliver medical marijuana and various cannabis products from a licensed dispensary to a registered patient’s address.
  • Medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts is tax-exempt.

Is Recreational Cannabis Legal?

Yes. Recreational cannabis in Massachusetts is legal.

When it comes to recreational use, adults over the age of 21 can only purchase 1 ounce of marijuana flower, or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate from cannabis retailers. Concentrate includes vape cartridges, edibles, or concentrates  Adult Use / recreational users are also taxed much differently than medicinal users.

It’s also worth noting that the legal stipulations for medical and recreational cannabis use vary. When it comes to understanding these differences, it helps to have some knowledge of the legal history of marijuana regulation in Massachusetts, as well as the guidelines that have been put in place to make it accessible.

Massachusetts Marijuana Legislation History

Massachusetts’ marijuana legislation history began in November of 2012 when voters approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative.

Doing so kicked off the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (which was started by the state’s Department of Public Health) in order to regulate the use of medical marijuana and bring Massachusetts closer to legalization and taxation.

In November of 2016, voters passed the Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative. This ruling made cannabis use legal for any adults over the age of 21. A new Cannabis Control Commission was also formed to help regulate the sale of marijuana across the state.

As state law for Massachusetts, cannabis legalization was enacted as bill H 3818 (Chapter 55). Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill in July of 2017, and with its appointment, the Cannabis Control Commission enacted the various state taxes and city taxes that equal the staggering 20% taxation on recreational adult use. Taxation for medical marijuana use in the state remains free. Additionally, individual jurisdictions around the state can prohibit retail cannabis sales through a city council vote.

As of 2021, cannabis sales and use in Massachusetts have grown by significant margins.

Want to learn more marijuana laws in Massachusetts? Let’s walk through some specifics.

Massachusetts Marijuana Laws

With marijuana acts in place throughout the state, Massachusetts has clear guidelines on how people can use medicinal and recreational cannabis.


In Massachusetts, there are different regulations when purchasing cannabis products for medicinal or recreational use.

Medical marijuana purchases are untaxed, and patients with a medical marijuana card can purchase up to 10 ounces for a 60-day supply.

For recreational purchases, adults over the age of 21 can buy 1 ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate from marijuana retailers. Recreational cannabis purchase can be taxed up to 20%.


For both adult recreational cannabis customers and medical patients (and caregivers of patients), it’s acceptable to possess 10 ounces of cannabis within a residence. In public, users are allowed to possess 1 ounce (or less than 28 grams).

For medical marijuana patientsonly, up to 10 ounces of cannabis concentrates are allowed in public. Recreational shoppers can carry up to 1 ounce of cannabis concentrates in public, and 1.5 ounces within their home.


Adults over the age of 21 can grow a total of 6 marijuana plants per person, which maxes out at 12 plants per home. It’s also worth mentioning that cannabis plants grown for marijuana cultivation do not count toward the 10-ounce limit for home possession.

On the flip side, medical marijuana patients who qualify for hardship registration (or their hired caregiver) can grow however many cannabis plants are needed to fulfill a 60-day cannabis supply. Once again, this cultivation does not infringe upon the 60-day supply limit involving home possession.

Transportation & Driving

Generally, driving with cannabis in your car is legal, but both recreational marijuana customers and  medical patients must keep it sealed and placed in the trunk of their car or locked in the glove box.

Driving while consuming cannabis products is illegal. Neither the driver nor a passenger can consume marijuana products of any kind. The penalty for being caught with an open container of cannabis in a car is a fine of up to $500.


Reciprocity refers to the recognition and acceptance of medical cannabis cards between different states in the country.

Within Massachusetts, reciprocity isn’t accepted. However, adults over the age of 21 can buy cannabis and cannabis products without being a resident of the state they buy them from.


In Massachusetts, cannabis, cannabis products, and other marijuana accessories cannot be consumed in public. Additionally, smoking cannabis is not allowed in any area where tobacco use is banned.

The state itself has a general rule for public consumption of marijuana in place, but local jurisdictions do have the power to set their own parameters for public consumption.

Qualifying Patients

To join the Medical Use of Marijuana Program in accordance with the state of Massachusetts, a healthcare professional first needs to certify you as having a qualifying condition.

Examples of qualifying conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • ALS

Other conditions may include:

*Speak with your doctor to determine what health risks qualify*

Additionally, medical marijuana patients and caregivers must renew their ID cards each year. Patients also need to maintain up-to-date certifications from their doctor each year to stay compliant with state laws.

Massachusetts Marijuana Laws FAQs

Which products are legal in Massachusetts?

All forms of cannabis, both in plant form and various cannabis products/accessories, are legal in the state of Massachusetts. However, there are specific stipulations for the amount one can possess in public and at home, as well as while driving.

Is cannabis legal in Boston?

Yes. Cannabis is legal in Boston under the mandate of statewide legislation on medicinal and recreational cannabis use.

Is it illegal to consume marijuana in public?

Yes, it is illegal to consume marijuana in public.

You are allowed to consume cannabis and cannabis products in the confines of your own home.

Where can I legally buy marijuana?

You can legally buy marijuana at any state-licensed cannabis dispensary in Massachusetts.

Where is it safe to use cannabis?

Consuming cannabis is safest in the controlled environment your own home.

If you have more questions about cannabis and want to speak to an expert, the patient care specialists at your local RISE dispensary are here to help.



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