Massachusetts Marijuana Laws

Current Legality State
Fully Legal
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Massachusetts State Information Page

  • Medical and recreational use is legalized.
  • Decriminalized statewide for adult use
  • Adult residents may possess one ounce of flower and five grams of concentrate
  • Cultivation of up to six plants per person or twelve plants per residence is legal
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Medical Cannabis Savings

Taxes explained and the benefits of getting your medical card in Massachusetts

Recreational Marijuana Taxes in Massachusetts

17% (10.75% excise tax + 7.25% sales tax) + municipal taxes up to 3%

Medical Marijuana Taxes in Massachusetts




Estimated Savings Having a Medical Marijuana Card
Up to 17%

The use of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts has been legal since 2016 for adults, and medical marijuana has been legal since 2012 for medical cardholders and caregivers. 

State Laws and Offenses

Here’s a list of penalties for Massachusetts possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana, concentrate, or paraphernalia.

  • Marijuana is a Class D controlled substance in the state of Massachusetts
  • Cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance under federal law.
  • An adult may possess marijuana, up to one ounce; up to five grams of marijuana may be marijuana concentrate.
  • For first offenders, marijuana possession of fewer than fifty pounds with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense or cultivate is punishable by a fine of up to 5,000 USD and imprisonment of up to two years. If the offense is across state lines, penalties will be more severe, even if it’s less than one ounce.
  • An adult may grow six marijuana plants at the adult’s primary residence. There is a limit of twelve plants of marijuana produced at one’s home.
  • For first offenders, selling less than fifty pounds of marijuana is punishable by a fine of up to 5,000 USD and imprisonment of up to two years.
  • Adult cannabis consumers may buy marijuana and use marijuana paraphernalia.

Massachusetts allows patients with the following conditions to apply for a medical cannabis card:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Other conditions may be included as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.


Book An Appointment

You will schedule an online appointment with a Leafy DOC medical marijuana doctor at a time that is most convenient for you. Provide basic medical history and book your appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor.



Consult with a doctor for 15 minutes to evaluate your ailments, and ask any questions you may have about



Within 24 hours after the evaluation, the doctor will send your certificate via email for your recommendation for medical marijuana. After receiving that recommendation, you can then apply with the state of Maryland to complete the registration process.

Does Massachusetts accept out-of-state medical cards?

Massachusetts does not accept out-of-state medical cards, but an adult medical patient from the New England area and beyond can visit a legal dispensary to purchase with an ID. 

When does my Massachusetts medical card expire?

Medical cards expire one year from the date the patient completes the registration process with the state.

Massachusetts marijuana DUI laws

Failure to pass a sobriety test can result in various fines and imprisonment. Massachusetts doesn’t test for THC in blood, urine, or hair when deciding if an individual has been driving under the influence, however, use in public or while operating a motor vehicle is not allowed, similar to other illegal drugs, due to its impairment effects.

Massachusetts marijuana growing laws

You must be 21 years or older and can grow up to twelve cannabis plants in your home. This recreational cannabis must be out of sight from the public.  

Massachusetts public consumption laws

Massachusetts state law prohibits the use of cannabis on public property, including for medical patients.  The state treats a public consumption offense similar to an open container offense, for public safety reasons.

Adult Use Marijuana possessed by a driver must be in a locked glove compartment, in a sealed container, to be carried in a vehicle and social consumption is not allowed around others.

Massachusetts city specific laws

The laws listed here are for the state. Cities, counties, schools, universities, and employers may set their own rules and consequences. Be sure to check how marijuana laws differ in each county or town before you use.

Sixty percent of Massachusetts voters approved recreational legalization for adults. 

Medical marijuana patients can apply for a medical card beginning at the age of eighteen. Recreational use of cannabis and retail sales for any adult who is 21 and over is legal according to the new possession law.

Yes. Adults are allowed home cultivation of marijuana and can grow up to six plants per person or twelve plants total in their residence.

Of your own harvest, an adult can have up to ten ounces for smoking marijuana at one time on their private property.

Yes, you can purchase cannabis directly to your residence via delivery, and some marijuana establishments have even introduced curbside pickup options for adults 21 and older.  Edible marijuana products are included.

Yes. Massachusetts marijuana law requires all qualifying patients to be registered with the state before medical marijuana use:

Requirements are as follows: 

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • You must be able to provide proof that you are a Massachusetts resident
  • You must have a diagnosis that qualifies in Massachusetts
  • You must submit a signed Physician Certification with your MMP application 
  • If you qualify, you will receive a PIN from the health care provider.
  • Use the PIN to register online at the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program website.
  • You must also include a current government-issued ID and current, accepted photograph in the application. It’s free to enroll in this program.

As of 2022, there are approximately 165 cannabis dispensaries statewide.  

Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline

2008: Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use. 

2012: Voters approved a ballot question in support of medical marijuana legalization for patients with qualifying medical conditions including cannabis use for chronic pain relief.

2016: Voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing adult-use marijuana and establishing regulations for sales of marijuana products by medical marijuana businesses.

2017: The legislature voted to delay implementation by six months, and Governor Baker signed the Marijuana Compromise Bill, a law pushing the ability to distribute marijuana and legal retail sales forward to the near future, from January 2018 to July 2018. 

2018: Governor Charlie Baker allowed the first adult-use retail stores to open for business with recreational cannabis, and cannabis product sales began in November for adults who consume marijuana. Massachusetts is now one of the most marijuana-friendly states in New England.

Massachusetts Equity Program

The MA Cannabis Control Commission is committed to encouraging participation in the marijuana industry by residents from communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by recreational marijuana prohibition and enforcement. They are committed to positively impacting those communities directly.

These efforts by the Cannabis Control Commission include the development of policies and procedures in addition to the Social Equity Program, Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicant status, and a drug awareness program that highlights tobacco smoking as well.

Updated 6.14.2022