Hampshire County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

  1. Massachusetts Cannabis
  2. Hampshire County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Hampshire County?

Yes, marijuana cultivation is legal in Hampshire County per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Chapter 334 of Acts of 2016 and Chapter 55 of Acts of 2017. Following these legislations, Hampshire County residents may lawfully cultivate medical and adult-use marijuana indoors or outdoors. While adult use is legal in the Commonwealth, local governments can adopt ordinances that regulate marijuana operations in their respective counties. As of May 2023, the towns of Westhampton and South Hadley placed a ban on adult-use marijuana.

Hampshire County implements the regulations on home cultivation set by the Commonwealth. Residents aged 21 and above may grow six adult-use marijuana plants in their primary residence. This may be increased to 12 plants per residence with more than one adult. On the other hand, a 60-day supply equivalent to 10 ounces of usable medical marijuana may be grown by Registered Qualifying Patients of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System. Marijuana may only be grown in areas fully equipped with locks and security devices to prevent unauthorized access. Furthermore, plants must not be publicly visible without using optical aids. Cultivators growing marijuana indoors are reminded to consult licensed electricians to avoid overload in electrical circuits, which may cause fires.

The Cannabis Control Commission licenses marijuana establishments to cultivate, test, manufacture, and sell marijuana in the Commonwealth. In particular, licensed marijuana cultivators are involved in cultivating, processing, and packaging marijuana. These establishments are also authorized to deliver and transfer marijuana to other establishments but not to consumers. Plainfield, Northampton, Hatfield, and Easthampton have licensed cultivators that may grow marijuana in a canopy of 5,000 to 100,000 square feet, depending on the granted license.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Hampshire County?

Hampshire County allows licensed marijuana product manufacturers to operate in Plainfield, Northampton, Hatfield, and Easthampton. Under state legislation, licensed manufacturers are authorized to acquire, process, manufacture, and package marijuana and marijuana products for delivery or transfer to other marijuana establishments.

Manufacturers must comply with the operational requirements under 935 CMR 500.105, 935 CMR 500.110, and 935 CMR 500.130. Detailed operating procedures must be followed, including security measures, employee security policies, operating hours, storage and waste disposal, price list, quality control plans, and operational policies and procedures. Manufacturers are responsible for maintaining a product catalog that will provide the information needed in the Commission’s Product Database. Edibles may be manufactured and stored in compliance with applicable sanitation and food handling requirements. Lastly, employees must be well educated and trained on their responsibilities.

Home manufacturing of marijuana using solvents with a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, other than alcohol, is prohibited. Moreover, making edibles at home is discouraged since it is difficult to ensure the safe potency and dosage of the product.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Hampshire County?

Yes, the retail of medical and adult-use marijuana is legal in Hampshire County. Marijuana retailers are licensed by the Commission to dispense and deliver adult-use marijuana. At the same time, Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs) are authorized to dispense and deliver medical marijuana to registered qualifying patients and designated caregivers. Residents may purchase marijuana products such as flowers, pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, concentrates, tinctures, and topicals from Northampton, Amherst, Easthampton, and Hadley dispensaries. Additionally, residents may utilize the online website developed by the Commission to search for licensed MTCs and retailers throughout the Commonwealth.

Hampshire County residents must be at least 21 years old and have a valid government-issued ID to purchase adult-use marijuana. The consumer may carry one ounce of marijuana, and the possession limit at home is set to 10 ounces. On the other hand, a 60-day supply of medical marijuana may be dispensed to qualifying patients and caregivers upon presenting a valid program ID card.

Consuming medical and adult-use marijuana in public places or federal lands is strictly prohibited.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Hampshire County?

Delivery of medical and adult-use marijuana by marijuana couriers are available in Plainfield, Northampton, Belchertown, Hatfield, Granby, Ware, Hadley, Southampton, Williamsburg, Easthampton, Amherst, Pelham, and Worthington.

According to the Commission, licensed marijuana couriers may only deliver orders from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM with a maximum product value of $10,000 inside the delivery vehicle per trip. The delivery limit per consumer is set to one ounce of marijuana or its equivalent combined dry weight per day (500 milligrams of active THC in edibles or 5 grams of active THC in other products). Only consumers aged 21 and above with a valid government-issued ID may order and receive deliveries.

A transportation plan is a requisite for every delivery. Marijuana couriers must utilize a registered vehicle with GPS tracking, transportation logs, and transportation manifests. At least two agents must complete the delivery, with one always remaining inside the vehicle.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Hampshire County

To enroll in the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program, Hampshire County residents who are 18 and above must first be certified by a Certifying Health Care Provider. Pediatric patients' parents or guardians must first approve their medical marijuana use and then get a certification from two Certifying Health Care Providers. Qualifying medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other debilitating conditions as certified by the health care provider.

After obtaining a certification, patients must register online through the Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System. A valid government-issued ID, proof of residency, and passport-sized photo will be asked during the registration. Official cards may be received within 7-14 days upon approval. Patients may print their temporary Program Registration Card to be able to purchase marijuana for 14 days.

The Commission also accepts paper applications through the mail. However, a longer approval time may be expected. The Commission may be reached every Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM through 833-869-6820 or Commission@CCCMass.com.

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Hampshire County?

As stipulated in Massachusetts laws, adult-use marijuana in Hampshire County is subject to a 6.25% state sales tax, a 10.75% state excise tax, and an optional tax of up to 3%. Meanwhile, tax is not imposed on any form of medical marijuana.

Together with the legalization of the medical and adult use of marijuana in Hampshire County is the increase in the number of marijuana establishments and marijuana sales in the county, which significantly contributes to the economy of Massachusetts. As of May 2023, the Commonwealth has recorded the following sales and production distribution data:

  • $4.56 Billion gross sales of adult-use marijuana from November 2018 to May 2023

  • $1.05 Billion gross sales of medical marijuana from March 2019 to May 2023

  • Buds, vapes, edibles, pre-rolls, and concentrates as the Top 5 selling products from November 2018 to May 2023

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Hampshire County

The full legalization of medical and adult-use marijuana in Hampshire County started when Massachusetts legalized it in 2016. Since then, crime rates related to marijuana possession and sales have varied.

Based on the reports of the Massachusetts State Police on the FBI Crime Data Explorer, arrests for marijuana possession from 2015 to 2021 in Hampshire County are as follows: 1 in 2015, 26 in 2016, 1 in 2017 and 2018, 10 in 2019, and 1 in 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, arrests for marijuana sales in the same period were 7 in 2015, 17 in 2016, 10 in 2017, 15 in 2018 and 2019, 8 in 2020, and 1 in 2021.

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