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Massachusetts Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Fully legal

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    10 oz 60 day supply

  • Recreational users

    1 oz

State taxes

  • Medical patients


  • Recreational users



  • Medical patients

    6 plants

  • Recreational users

    6 plants

  • Cultivation is legal
Learn more

Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Massachusetts

Once you have registered with Leafwell and been approved by one of our medical marijuana doctors online, apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

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Table of contents

  1. Is Marijuana Legal in Massachusetts?
  2. What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in Massachusetts
  3. Can You Grow Cannabis in Massachusetts?
  4. The Bottom Line

Is Marijuana Legal in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

In 2012, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure to legalize cannabis for medical use. The laws outlined in Question 3, the Massachusetts Medical marijuana Initiative, gave patients with qualifying conditions access to medical marijuana products and eliminated criminal and civil penalties for the possession of up to a 60-day supply of marijuana for patients with a state-issued registration card.

Recreational cannabis was approved in 2016 when the majority of Massachusetts residents voted “yes” on the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Initiative, commonly known as Question 4. This new measure legalized the purchase, possession, and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older. Cannabis sales from licensed Marijuana Establishments (MEs) began in 2018. Although cannabis is fully legal in Massachusetts, public consumption of marijuana is prohibited. Marijuana Laws in Massachusetts

Marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use in Massachusetts. Each program is comprised of distinct regulations to encourage the lawful use, possession, and cultivation of cannabis.

Medical Cannabis Laws

Patients 18 and older may purchase medical cannabis from a licensed Medical Treatment Center (MTC). Possession limits are as follows:

  • Those with a temporary 14-day registration may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis within those two weeks.
  • Registered patients with a valid medical marijuana card can purchase and possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis or cannabis products within a rolling 60-day period. (A certifying healthcare provider may increase this limit if deemed medically necessary.)

Patients under 18 must obtain official parent or guardian approval, plus certifications from two authorized health care providers — of which at least one must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.

It is also legal for medical patients to cultivate up to 24 cannabis plants (12 flowering and 12 vegetative) within a private residence. However, Massachusetts state law prohibits the use of any medical marijuana products in public spaces, including federal land. Additionally, it is illegal to send medical marijuana anywhere by mail.

Recreational Marijuana Laws

Adults 21 and over with a valid state ID can purchase cannabis from a licensed marijuana establishment. Recreational consumers may possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis and 5 grams of marijuana concentrate within a private home, and a maximum of 1 ounce of cannabis in public. Any amount of dried flower or cannabis products greater than 1 ounce must be secured by a child-proof lock within a private residence. Home cultivation of up to six plants for personal use is also permitted.

In addition to these regulations, Massachusetts law prohibits traveling across state lines with marijuana. It’s also illegal to have an open container holding cannabis (regardless of form) in or around the passenger seat. Cannabis should be kept in a sealed container and stored in the trunk or locked glove compartment. Penalties for violating these or any of Massachusetts’ cannabis laws range from a civil penalty with fines starting at $100 to a felony with the possibility of incarceration.

The passage of H. 3818 established a combined tax rate of 17% to 20% on adult-use cannabis. Since 2018 the state has reaped millions in revenue generated from:

  • An excise sales tax of 10.75%, which funds the Cannabis Control Commission 
  • A standard sales tax of 6.25%, which is allocated to the state’s general fund and the school building and transportation authorities
  • An optional local tax of up to 3% to support the local government’s general fund

CBD and Delta-8 Laws

The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp containing less than 0.3% THC at the federal level. As a result, hemp-derived cannabinoids such as CBD, delta-8, delta-10, and HHC are legal for adult use in a number of states, including Massachusetts.

What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in Massachusetts

Federal law classifies cannabis as a prohibited Schedule I drug. Without nationwide approval, rules governing medical and recreational marijuana programs must be developed by individual states. Massachusetts has developed a nuanced set of guidelines and regulations to encourage safe, responsible medical marijuana use.

Certain Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis

The following is a list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Massachusetts:

*Debilitating” is defined by state law 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.”

Telemedicine Is Allowed

Telemedicine is allowed in Massachusetts, and you can get certified to receive a medical marijuana card online. If you’re ready to apply, Leafwell can get you approved in minutes. Contact one of our certified physicians today to get started.

Massachusetts Does Not Accept Out-Of-State Medical Cards

Although Massachusetts does not accept out-of-state medical cannabis cards, nonresidents 21 and older may purchase adult-use cannabis with a valid government-issued ID. There are, however, many states that do offer reciprocity, meaning they will accept a valid Massachusetts medical marijuana card. The following is a list of states and territories that have reciprocity:

*Visitors must complete a visiting patient application with the state program.

States that have recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older but do not accept out-of-state cards include:

There Are Employment Protections for Cardholders

Employers are not required to accommodate medical marijuana in the workplace, and adverse measures may be taken if an employer proves that work performance was significantly impaired by medical cannabis use.

That said, an employee who uses medical marijuana to treat a disability is entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the state’s disability discrimination law. And in 2017, the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled that certified patients who’ve been fired for off-site medical cannabis use can sue their employer for disability discrimination.

Can You Grow Cannabis in Massachusetts?

Yes, you can grow cannabis in Massachusetts. Medical marijuana patients may cultivate no more than 12 flowering and 12 vegetative marijuana plants within a private residence. Additionally, the state’s proposed Hardship Cultivation program will allow qualified patients to grow and sustain their own 60-day supply of medical marijuana within the home.

Recreational consumers may cultivate up to six plants — with a maximum of 12 cannabis plants in households with more than one adult. Plants must be grown in a secure location, out of public view.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use in the state of Massachusetts. Medical cannabis patients may possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis within a rolling 60-day period and cultivate no more than 12 flowering and 12 vegetative marijuana plants within their private residences.

Recreational users can possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis inside the home and no more than 1 ounce in public. Additionally, eligible adults may cultivate up to six marijuana plants within a private home or up to 12 plants in households with multiple adults.

Laws regarding consumption, possession, and cultivation stipulate that marijuana is prohibited from public spaces. Lastly, CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids such as delta-8, delta-10, and HHC are legal for adult use.

Qualify for Cannabis

If you live in a state with a medical program you could qualify for cannabis. Speak to a physician today to qualify and learn how cannabis can help you.