Overview of Adult Use Marijuana in Massachusetts
Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts for people 21 and older, but that doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere you want. Here are some basics about the law:
- You can’t use marijuana in any form (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.) in public or on federal land
- You can have up to 1 oz on you and up to 10 oz in your home
- You can grow up to 6 plants in your home, and up to 12 plants for 2 or more adults
- If you have more than 1 oz of marijuana in your home, it has to be locked up. But it’s best to keep any amount locked away to keep kids and pets safe.
- Like alcohol, you can’t have an open container of any form of marijuana in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access. It must be stored in a closed container in your trunk or a locked glove compartment.
- It’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. If you use, don't get behind the wheel. Instead, use public transportation, ride-shares, or catch a ride with a sober friend.
- Employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies about the use of marijuana. Check with them to see what is legal.
For more information about the regulations that govern what you can and can't do, how much you can grow and have, and when and where it's okay to use, visit Mass.gov.
Out-of-towners' Guide to Massachusetts Cannabis
Have your ID ready
First of all, remember that you have to be 21 to purchase and consume cannabis legally. No exceptions. And there will be no fooling a dispensary or getting by without an official government issued ID the way some people get around the law when it comes to buying alcohol under age. The rules are strict with cannabis sales and your ID will checked and rechecked before you are allowed into the establishment, let alone to make a purchase.
There are buying limits
There are limits for how much cannabis any person can buy at a time, regardless of whether you are a resident of Massachusetts or not. The current possession limit is one ounce, where not more than give grams of marijuana can be in the form of marijuana concentrate. That can get confusing when you are purchasing different kinds of products in the dispensary. Your budtender and other dispensary staff will be able to help guide you when making purchases to ensure you stay under the legal limit. Keep in mind that they are also prohibited from selling you more than that amount per transaction, so don't try to convince or coerce them into selling you more. That is illegal and will land everyone involved in hot water.
Public consumption is not allowed
While it is legal to possess cannabis products in public, any consumption of marijuana in public or smoking marijuana in an area where smoking tobacco is prohibited is also in violation of the law. Non-locals might think that Massachusetts residents walk down the street smoking cannabis like tobacco but that is completely false. Don't make this mistake and end up with serious consequences.
Not all hotels or other rental accommodations are cool with consumption
For visitors who abide by the "no public consumption" rules, there are only a few options left for them as far as locations to consume their legally purchased cannabis products. While some people may be staying with friends or family in private residences, others will be staying in a hotel or other rental property. Be sure to check with any kind of rental or hotel accommodations before consuming cannabis products-- whether by smoking, vaping, eating, or otherwise on their premises. Some property owners or managers are okay with cannabis use, while some are strictly opposed to consumption on their property. Don't get kicked out of your accommodations because you didn't follow the rules. Massachusetts currently does not license social consumption or mixed-use establishments such as marijuana consumption bars or yoga studios.
How to carry products with you while you are traveling in Massachusetts
The short answer is to carry marijuana and marijuana products in a concealed and enclosed manner. When purchasing products, they will be given to you in a scaled bag or case. This is perfect to store your products within your luggage, car, or other personal property when you are in public. The idea is to keep your items secure and out of sight. When traveling with children or pets, you should be especially cautious about keeping products locked up and out of reach.
Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. Period. If you are consuming cannabis products while visiting Massachusetts, make sure there is a sober driver and never get behind the wheel after you have consumed any amount of cannabis. If you need to get from place to place after consuming cannabis, consider a rideshare, such as a cab, Uber, or Lyft. Keep in mind that the impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. Like alcohol, you may not have an open container of adult-use marijuana/marijuana products in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access.
Taking your cannabis with you
Taking any amount of cannabis with you when you when you return home outside of Massachusetts is illegal and should under no circumstance be attempted. The possession of cannabis in any form is no longer legal as soon as you cross a state line, and the possession of any cannabis product is also prohibited in Massachusetts airports. Don't risk the state or federal consequences and leave all cannabis products behind in Massachusetts when you depart.
Mailing your purchases home
Many tourists think that shipping their marijuana purchases home is an easy way around the laws that prohibit them from taking products across state lines. Unfortunately, that could not be more wrong. In fact, it counts as moving illegal drugs across state lines, and if you are caught, there will be steep penalties. Again, do not risk the consequences and leave all legally purchased cannabis products in Massachusetts.