Massachusetts Marijuana Limitations

What Happens if I am Under 21 and Caught Carrying or Using Cannabis?

In Massachusetts, anyone over the age of 21 can use cannabis without first enrolling in the state's medical cannabis program. A person can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana (no more than 5 grams of concentrated marijuana) for recreational use. An adult over 21 years can cultivate up to 6 plants (not more than 12 plants where more than two adults reside) in their homes. They can possess up to 10 ounces in their primary residence. They can also possess, manufacture, or buy marijuana paraphernalia or sell it to other adults.

However, this law does not apply to persons under the age of 21. It is a civil offense for a person under 21 years, except for a qualifying patient with a medical marijuana card, to procure marijuana. Such a person will be punished with a fine of not more than $100 and be required to complete a drug awareness program. If the offender is under 18 years, the parents or guardian will be informed about the offense committed. Failure to complete the drug awareness program in one year will result in delinquency proceedings for persons under 17 years at the time of the offense. In addition, the law does not permit the possession or consumption of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a public or private preschool, K-12 school, youth center, public library correctional facility, or detoxification facility.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Massachusetts?

The legalization of marijuana implies that residents can smoke weed. However, there are many restrictions on smoking weed in Massachusetts. Although residents can possess marijuana in public, there is a general prohibition of public marijuana consumption, including smoking. Also, residents cannot smoke marijuana in any place where people are prohibited from smoking tobacco. There is a civil penalty of up to $100 for defaulters.

Employers and landlords may have their policies regarding marijuana use at the workplace or on the property, respectively. Municipalities can also pass bylaws or ordinances concerning social consumption and smoking of marijuana. Generally, marijuana users can only smoke in their private residences.

Can I Leave Massachusetts with Cannabis?

While a person can possess cannabis in Massachusetts, it is illegal to cross state lines with it, even when traveling via airplane. This is because air travel falls under federal jurisdiction, and marijuana is considered an illegal substance under federal law. A person caught possessing marijuana could risk federal prosecution.

It is also illegal for patients with MMJ to travel across state lines with medical marijuana even though their MMJ card is acceptable in the states that practice medical marijuana reciprocity. Instead of traveling out of the state with marijuana, they can use their MMJ cards to purchase cannabis within the limits of such a state. In addition, it is advisable for patients to get themselves acquainted with the marijuana laws of the states they are visiting to avoid facing penalties in such states.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in Massachusetts?

Cannabis can affect a person's driving record in Massachusetts. Operating under the influence (OUI) involves operating a vehicle in a public area under the influence of a stimulating substance, like marijuana. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will suspend the driver's license of an individual upon commission of an OUI. Also, the RMV will automatically suspend the driver's license of an individual who refuses to submit to or fails a breathalyzer test. In both cases, the offender can file an appeal to have their license reinstated for the duration of the case.

In Massachusetts, an OUI conviction will be on the offender's driving and criminal record indefinitely and may influence the penalty of subsequent offenses. However, the offender may file a petition to remove it from their driving record after ten years. The chance of success in this attempt is based on some variables, but most importantly, the person's driving record since the OUI. Having an OUI on a driving record has a significant impact on the person's insurance rates. It also affects those whose occupations require them to drive, but it hardly affects office workers.

Can I Get a DUI if I Drive While I am High?

Massachusetts law prohibits a person from operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component of marijuana affects a person's ability to drive. Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 § 24, it is a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana. The law does not stipulate what operating under the influence means and the particular dose of marijuana that can make a person get arrested. Unlike the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, there is no limit for THC. Hence, any trace of THC found on a driver's breath is considered sufficient ground for an arrest and conviction.

Since there is no chemical test, police officers use different methods or approaches to identify a person operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. For instance, they can identify an OUI by observing the driving pattern. In most cases, erratic driving is an indication. In some situations, a bystander may call the attention of the police to such erratic driving. When a police officer has reason to suspect an OUI, the officer may request that the driver pull over and undergo some tests. The police officers will note the driver's behavior, balance, cognition, reflex, slurred speech, slow movement, bloodshot eyes, and inability to follow simple instructions. They also use the smell of marijuana and visual evidence of marijuana in the vehicle as grounds to carry out arrests. Also, the driver may be subjected to a Field Sobriety Test (FST). An FST is one of three different tests that may be administered during a traffic stop:

  • The one-leg stand
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN): The police observes any involuntary movement of the eyes
  • The walk-and-turn test.

If a person is prosecuted for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana, the penalty depends on the nature of the offense. It makes no difference whether the driver is a recreational or medical marijuana user at the time of the offense. Massachusetts law imposes various penalties, including informal probation, fines, imprisonment, and license suspension. Depending on the offender's record, an OUI in Massachusetts may be a misdemeanor or a felony. Where a serious accident occurs, it will be prosecuted as a felony.

  • A first OUI offense is punishable by 30 days to two years imprisonment, a fine between $500 and $5,000, and suspension of the offender's driver's license for one year after conviction.

  • A second OUI offense is punishable by 60 days (30 days minimum to serve) and two and a half years imprisonment, a fine between $600 and $10,000, and suspension of the offender's driver's license for two years after conviction.

  • A third OUI offense is punishable by 180 days (150 days minimum to serve) and five years imprisonment, a fine between $1,000 and $15,000, and suspension of the offender's driver's license for eight years after conviction.

  • A fourth OUI offense is punishable by two years (one year minimum to serve) and five years imprisonment, a fine between $1,500 and $25,000, and suspension of the offender's driver's license for ten years after conviction.

  • A fifth OUI offense is punishable by two and a half years (two years minimum to serve) and five years imprisonment, a fine between $2,000 and $50,000, and revocation of the offender's driver's license for life.

Aside from those mentioned above, there are other penalties. For instance, a driver's OUI record may raise their insurance premium. The more convictions a person has, the more likely they have to pay higher premiums. An OUI conviction may impact the offender's ability to enter certain countries based on the parameters set by the country.

The Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 § 24L provides that an OUI that causes serious bodily harm or endangers the lives and safety of the public will attract the following:

  • Two and a half years imprisonment;
  • A fine of not more than $5,000; and
  • A suspension of the offender's driving license.

It defines serious bodily injury as physical injury that puts a person in danger of death or causes total disability or the loss or significant impairment of a bodily function for a substantial time. In addition, driving a vehicle while in possession of an open container of marijuana is illegal. A person driving in possession of marijuana must ensure it is in a closed container or an open container stored in a locked area. A driver who violates the law will be fined $500.

Can I Buy Marijuana in Massachusetts?

An adult aged 21 or over can legally buy marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana accessories in any state-licensed adult-use retailer. Registered patients with their MMJ cards can also buy medical marijuana from state-licensed medical retailers. To legally buy cannabis, a person must provide a valid ID, such as a state-issued ID, driver's license, a US passport, or a US military ID. A qualified patient simply requires their MMJ card or a recommendation from a licensed physician. If the patient is under 18 years, they must purchase through their parents or legal guardians.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has both medical and recreational retailers of marijuana. The Cannabis Control Commission licenses these retailers as Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs), adult-use Marijuana Establishments (MEs), and Marijuana Retailers. The commission administers and regulates medical and recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. A person who is 21 years or older, with a valid ID, can buy marijuana for adult use from any recreational retailer in the state. The buyer should also note the possession limit of 1 ounce of marijuana in the state. Registered patients can use their MMJ cards to purchase medical marijuana from medical retailers.

The state allows cities and towns to make their policies regarding licensing dispensaries. For instance, Acton, Boylston, Carlisle, and Falmouth all presently have bans relating to adult-use dispensaries.

How Much is Marijuana in Massachusetts?

There is no set price for marijuana products in Massachusetts. Retailers decide the prices they want to sell. Every form of marijuana product can be bought in Massachusetts, including flower (buds), hash oil, edibles, cannabis-infused drinks, wax, and shatter. A person can buy up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana flower or 5 grams of extract or concentrate in a day. Marijuana is commonly bought with cash in Massachusetts.

Retail sale prices of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts are the most of any state. In 2020, the average price of all marijuana flower sizes offered in Massachusetts dispensaries was $41.78. Other prices are as follows:

  • Vapes with 500 mg of concentrate cost $54.18 on average.
  • One gram pre-rolled joint costs between $15 to $20.
  • An eighth of an ounce of marijuana flower retails for $50 to $60.
  • An ounce of weed costs between $225 to $240.

The high cost of marijuana is most likely due to the state's cannabis tax, seasonal environment, and lengthy business licensing procedure, which has limited the number of producers and retailers open for business. The state's recreational marijuana market is subject to a combined 20% state and local tax.

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

Adults over 21 years old, patients, and caregivers can possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana in public and 10 ounces (283 grams) of marijuana in their homes. Medical patients can possess a 60-day supply of cannabis concentrates, and adults can possess up to 1 ounce of concentrates in public or 1.5 ounces at home. While a healthcare provider can prescribe more on a patient's certificate, the 60-day supply is limited to 10 ounces.

Adults can also cultivate up to six cannabis plants per person and up to 12 per household in their homes. This does not include the 10 ounces that can be kept at home. Patients can cultivate the number of plants required to provide a 60-day supply of marijuana. Without the use of optical aids, cannabis plants must not be visible from a public place. Cannabis can only be cultivated in places that have locks or other security measures in place. A civil punishment of up to $300 is imposed for a violation and the seizure of the plants. No one, save a licensed product producer, may manufacture cannabis or hemp using a liquid or gas with a flashpoint below 100° Fahrenheit, other than alcohol.

Although both medical and recreational cannabis are now legal in Massachusetts, there are still particular limitations to the use of marijuana under state law. A breach can result in penalties for both patients and consumers. For instance, public consumption of marijuana or smoking marijuana where smoking tobacco is not permitted can lead to a fine of $100. Also, having an open container of marijuana in a vehicle is punishable by a fine of $500. Where a person has more than the permitted amount of marijuana in their home, the amount in excess must be locked up. A violation is punishable by a $100 fine and forfeiture of the marijuana.

To enforce the law, retail shops cannot sell more than the amount stipulated by the law. This includes a 5-gram sale limit on edibles and other cannabis-infused products. The sale of edibles is likewise subject to dosage restrictions. A single serving of marijuana cannot contain over 5 milligrams of THC. Edibles packages can include up to 20 individual servings or 100 milligrams of THC.

Where is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
In this section:
Massachusetts Marijuana Limitations