Massachusetts Marijuana Possession Laws

Is Possession of Marijuana Legal in Massachusetts?

Yes, the possession of Marijuana in Massachusetts is legal for both medical and recreational purposes. Massachusetts laws allow individuals to possess and use 28 grams (an ounce) of weed at a time for recreational or medical purposes. 

However, there are certain limitations placed on the use of marijuana in the state. To use weed for recreational purposes, the individual must be 21 years old and above, while those who use it for medical reasons must be at least 18 years old. Besides the age requirement, a user of medical marijuana must be a state resident, have certification from two certified health care providers, and have a qualifying medical condition. 

The government agency charged with moderating the use of Marijuana in Massachusetts is the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). 

How Much Weed Is a Felony in Massachusetts?

Although possession of weed is legal in Massachusetts, there are limitations to its consumption and possession. The severity of the penalty for illegal possession of marijuana depends on the following:

  • The age of the offender.
  • The amount of weed that the person possesses.
  • The location where the offense was committed.

Also, the intention of the person (whether for personal use, distribution or cultivation) determines if the individual has violated state laws or not. Distributors and cultivators who violate the rules and regulations stipulated in 94C of the Massachusetts legislature are at risk of committing a felony. The following is the amount of weed regarded as a felony in Massachusetts and its accompanying penalties.

Distributors:

  • A distributor possessing between 22675 grams (50 pounds) and less than 45350 grams (100 pounds) of marijuana is liable to 2.5 to 15 years jail time and a $500 to $10000 fine.

  • A distributor with between 45350 grams (100 pounds) and less than 907000 grams (2000 pounds) of marijuana is liable to 2.5 to 15 years of jail time and a $2,500 to $25,000 fine. 

  • A distributor with between 907000 grams (2000 pounds) and less than 4.3 million grams (10000 pounds) of marijuana is liable to 3.5 to 15 years of jail time and a $5,000 to $50,000 fine. 

  • A distributor with 4.3 million grams (10000 pounds) or more of marijuana is liable to eight to 15 years of jail time and a $20,000 to $200,000 fine.

  • Having 22675 grams (50 pounds) of weed while close to a park or school (100 feet and 300 feet, respectively) can incur a jail time of two to 15 years and a $1,000 to $10,000 fine.

  • A distributor that induces or causes a minor (a person aged less than 18 years) to commit any of the above offenses is liable to five to 15 years in jail and a $1000 to $100000 fine.

Cultivators: 

  • Possessing between 22675 grams (50 pounds) and less than 45350 grams (100 pounds) of marijuana can result in one to 15 years of jail time and a $500 to $10000 fine.

  • Possessing between 45350 grams (100 pounds) and less than 907000 grams (2000 pounds) of marijuana can result in two to 15 years of jail time and a $2500 to $25,000 fine.

  • Possessing between 907000 grams (2000 pounds) and less than 4.3 million grams (10000 pounds) of marijuana can result in 3.5 to 15 years of jail time and a $5000 to $50000 fine.

  • Possessing 4.3 million grams (10000 pounds) or more of marijuana can result in eight to 15 years of jail time and a $20000 to $200000 fine.

What Are the Penalties for 1st Time Offense of Possession of Weed in Massachusetts?

Generally, a first-time offense concerning possession of weed in Massachusetts incurs a lesser punishment than a subsequent offender. The following are the penalties for a first-time offender according to the Massachusetts legislature:

  • A first-time offender possessing more than 28 grams (an ounce) of weed or 5 grams of Marijuana concentrate may be placed on probation. Once the person completes the probation, all official documents concerning the conviction will be sealed.

  • A first-time offender possessing less than 22675 grams of weed for the purpose of distributing, dispensing, or cultivating is liable to two years imprisonment or a fine of $500 to $5000.

  • A first-time offender possessing less than 22675 grams of weed to sell it is liable to two years in jail or a fine of $500 to $5000. 

  • A first-time offender driving under the influence of marijuana is liable to a $500 to $5000 fine, over 30 months under house arrest, or suspension of license for 12 months.

Where to Buy Legal Weed in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, individuals interested in weed can order it online or buy it in person from various marijuana dispensaries. In addition, several third-party websites comprise tools with which buyers can search for licensed marijuana establishments close to them.

Marijuana dispensaries are state-government regulated shops from which individuals can buy weed and weed-related items for recreational or medical purposes. To legally purchase weed from a dispensary, the buyer must present a valid means of identification at the dispensary. 

Generally, marijuana sales are cash-only, although some dispensaries allow the use of a debit card. However, payment is processed as an ATM withdrawal. It is advisable to purchase cannabis from government-approved dispensaries only. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is the body that issues licenses to marijuana dispensaries.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Weed in Massachusetts

A person interested in buying weed legally in Massachusetts for medical use must be 18 years and above. On the other hand, to buy it for recreational use requires the buyer to be 21 years or older.

Therefore, the penalty for individuals under 21 who buy, grow or consume marijuana for reasons unrelated to health includes enrolling in a drug education program and paying a civil fine. The penalties for underage offenders include a fine and enrollment in a 12-month drug awareness program. The minor’s parents or legal guardians will also receive a notice. 

How Much Weed Can You Carry in Massachusetts?

Generally, adults in Massachusetts can legally carry 28 grams (an ounce) of weed in public. Regarding medical use, Massachusetts residents aged 18 years and above can carry a maximum of 280.3 grams (10 ounces) of marijuana for a 60-day supply. Also, If the doctor deems it necessary, the individual may be allowed to buy more. Regarding recreational use, individuals can possess up to 280.3 grams (10 ounces) of weed at their residence. 

Where marijuana concentrate is concerned, individuals can only carry 5 grams at a time. Individuals possessing more than 28 grams (one ounce) of marijuana or its products in public must secure it with a lock.

What Happens if You Get Caught With Weed Under 18 in Massachusetts?

It is against Massachusetts and federal law for an individual less than 18 years old to have weed for medical or recreational purposes. Any offender that gets caught in the act is liable to the following penalties:

  • A non-criminal/civil citation.
  • A $100 fine.
  • Enrollment in an approved drug awareness program.

Also, persons under 17 who fail to complete the awareness program within the specified time may be subject to delinquency proceedings.

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Have in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, an individual can grow as many as six marijuana plants at a primary residence. The state also allows two or more adults to grow a maximum of 12 plants in one residence. However, the residence of the marijuana plantation must not be visible to the public. Therefore, the place should be well secured and locked at all times. Violation of this rule is a civil offense. Offenders face up to $300 in fines and forfeiture of the plants.

How Much Weed Can You Fly With From Massachusetts?

U.S federal law regards the possession of marijuana as illegal. Therefore, flying with weed from Massachusetts to another state is a crime. Factors that determine the severity of the crime of traveling with weed include how much weed the offender is carrying and whether the individual is a first-time offender or not. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that possessing up to 50kg (1763.6 ounces) of marijuana may attract a fine of $250,000 and five years imprisonment.

Is It Illegal to Be High in Public in Massachusetts?

No, it is not illegal to be high in public places in Massachusetts. However, if an individual is high in public and causes a nuisance, such a person may have to face certain charges. On the other hand, smoking marijuana in public is not allowed, although there are exceptions for people using it for health reasons at designated places. Likewise, employers have the authority to make and enforce policies concerning weed consumption. 

Being high in public becomes illegal when the person is operating a vehicle. According to state law, an individual found to be under the influence of weed while driving is guilty of a DUI (driving under the influence). 

A first-time offense may result in a $500-$5000 fine, up to 30 months of house arrest, and a license suspension. However, a third-time offense is classified as a felony and may incur a $1000-$15000 fine, up to five years imprisonment, and an eight-year license suspension. Subsequent offenses may lead to:

  • Incarceration for up to five years (24 months mandatory).
  • A fine of $2000-$50000.
  • Permanent suspension of driver’s license.

Also, it is illegal to carry an open weed container in the passenger seat of a vehicle. An offense such as this subjects the offender to up to $500 in fines. 

Massachusetts Marijuana Possession Laws