Marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts
Marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts
Visiting a Dispensary in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is known in equal measures for its rich history, gorgeous waterfronts, numerous museums, and open cannabis culture. From the cities to the quintessential small New England towns, here’s what you need to know when looking for a medical or recreational dispensary.
The Lowdown on Massachusetts Cannabis Laws
Cannabis is legal to use for both recreational and medical use in Massachusetts. In 2008, the state first voted to decriminalize less than an ounce of marijuana and reduced fines to just $100 under the Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative. In 2012, the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative was passed, making it legal for those who had a state issued registration card to purchase cannabis for medical benefit.In 2016, the state formally made recreational cannabis legal with the passing of ballot Question 4, and the final bill was enacted in 2017 through bill H 3818.
Recreational Cannabis Laws in Massachusetts
It’s legal for adults ages 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and use marijuana in their homes and on private property. It’s also legal to grow up to six plants per household if one adult is living in the home, or up to 12 if there is more than one adult living in the home. Adults can have up to 10 ounces in the household at one time or more if harvested from a plant grown at home. Any plants grown cannot be visible from the street.
Medical Cannabis Laws in Massachusetts
Patients ages 18 and over with a recognized medical condition may wish to apply for a cannabis medical card. These are available for patients and caregivers. The process is managed through the Cannabis Control Commission, which also provides connections to medical marijuana treatment centers that may offer more help for relief. Qualifying conditions include:
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts
To obtain a medical marijuana card, individuals can apply directly on the Cannabis Control Commission website and:
Create an account
Provide proof of identification (a MA driver’s license or ID card, or a U.S. passport or military ID)
Show proof of residency in the state (such as with a utility bill, marriage certificate, or property tax bill)
Provide a photo
Each person must have a written recommendation from a Certifying Health Care Provider who is recognized by the state.
Where is it Legal to Consume Cannabis in Massachusetts
Generally, cannabis cannot be smoked, eaten, or vaped in public—however, the Cannabis Control Commission (the Commission) does allow local jurisdictions to set their own rules around cafes, smoke rooms, or other social consumption locations. Make sure to check with your local town or city hall for more details.
Cannabis can be carried in a vehicle, as long as it’s in a sealed container in the trunk or in a locked glove compartment. Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, and neither drivers nor passengers may consume it in a vehicle.
How to Buy Cannabis at a Massachusetts Dispensary
It’s only legal to purchase cannabis from a licensed recreational dispensary in Massachusetts, which are overseen by the Commission. Dispensaries are plentiful in the state, including both in cities and in smaller towns. Dispensary hours are generally between 9am-9pm, and many offer delivery and curbside pickup.
Cannabis Taxes in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has a 10.75% excise tax on all marijuana purchases, as well as a 6.5% sales tax. Each local area is able to add up to a 3% optional tax as well, putting marijuana taxes between 17-20% throughout the state.
Taxes on the sale of cannabis go to several locations. The sales tax goes to the state’s general fund, much like any other retail tax. The excise taxes, along with any fines and fees associated with cannabis use, go to the Marijuana Regulation Fund. These funds go to support the Commission, people living in communities impacted by drugs, and to support public and behavioral health, police training, and public safety in the state.