Both recreational and medicinal marijuana are legal in Massachusetts for adults over the age of 21. Patients under the age of 21, but 18 years of age or older, may participate in the state’s medical marijuana program only. For recreational users, possession of 1 oz or 5 g of concentrate is allowed. Possession of more than 5 g, but less than 1 oz of concentrate is a civil offense resulting in a $100 fine. Within a residence, one may have 10 oz and grow up to 6 plants for personal use.
Possession of more than 1 oz of flower marijuana in public is a misdemeanor. First-time offenders may be incarcerated for up to 6 months and/or face fines of up to $500. Second-time offenders face significantly harsher penalties and may be incarcerated for up to 2 years and fined up to $2,000. Possession of more than 1 oz of concentrate is a crime punishable by up to 1 year of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000. Public use is prohibited, as is drugged driving.
Participants in Massachusetts’ medical marijuana program can purchase/possess no more than 10 oz of marijuana every two months. Patients or caregivers may also cultivate a limited number of plants, “sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of marijuana and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked area.” To participate in the program, patients must have one of the following qualifying conditions:
• ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
• Crohn’s disease
• Hepatitis C
• Multiple sclerosis
• Parkinson’s disease
A qualifying physician may also determine that patients not afflicted by one of the conditions noted above could benefit from the use of marijuana.
Only MDs, DOs, and CNPs with active full licenses with no prescribing restrictions, a Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration, and at least one established place to practice in the state can recommend marijuana to patients. CNPs must hold board authorization by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to practice as a CNP in the state. Additionally, all practitioners must register with the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program at the following site:
Massachusetts does not have a reciprocity program to accommodate medical marijuana patients from out of state.
To learn more about the state’s program, see the Massachusetts state website, or visit the site of the Massachusetts Patient Policy Alliance: