In July 2017, the law legalizing recreational marijuana in the state of Massachusetts was signed. Just over a year later, the first recreational marijuana shops opened for business. Today, you can purchase recreational marijuana in over a dozen shops throughout the state. Despite the steady progress and changing attitudes, most residents are still wildly uninformed about the limits of legal marijuana – both recreational and medical. In this post, we’ll share some important details about the state’s marijuana laws, debunk some of the most popular rumors we’ve heard and offer some advice to make sure you don’t run into any trouble with the law.
How old do you have to be to purchase marijuana in Massachusetts?
If you have a qualifying condition, you can apply for a Massachusetts medical marijuana card when you’re 18 years old and begin purchasing medical marijuana as soon as you receive it. For recreational purposes, you must be at least 21 years of age.
How much marijuana can you carry on your person?
Recreational users can purchase and possess up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of concentrate at a time. Medical marijuana patients can purchase and possess up to a 60-day supply as prescribed by their doctor to a maximum of ten ounces. If you are transporting marijuana in your car, treat it like alcohol and never have an open container on your person. Be sure to keep your marijuana in a sealed container inside your trunk or a locked glove compartment.
Important facts about possessing marijuana in Massachusetts:
Medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Massachusetts but according to the federal government, they’re still Schedule 1 controlled substances. So while it’s perfectly legal for you to carry recreational or medical marijuana on the subway or on the street, these same state laws don’t apply on federal lands. If you plan on visiting a state park or national forest, don’t bring your cannabis with you.
Understanding the “rolling limit” on medical marijuana purchases:
In Massachusetts, medical marijuana patients have access to 10 ounces on a “rolling 60 day” schedule. If you have the cash to purchase all 10 ounces at once (for now, all recreational and medical marijuana purchases must be made with cash or debit card, CLICK HERE to learn why this is so and how that may change) you will have to wait 60 days to make another purchase.
For patients who need to spread their purchases out over time, each purchase comes with its own 60-day waiting period. You can still make additional purchases until you reach your ten ounce maximum (aka your “grammage”) but every medical marijuana purchase has its own 60-day waiting period. This is true for all medicated products, be they edibles, concentrates or traditional flower. All of these products count against your available balance when you make a purchase.
Speaking of concentrates, 1 gram of concentrate is considered 5.3 grams of flower in the 60-day allotment. So while concentrates are significantly more potent than all other forms of medical marijuana, managing your supply is essential to ensure your treatment plan is as effective as possible.
Understanding dispensary imposed limits:
Purchase limits are most frequently associated with recreational shops that have greater demand for their limited supply but in the interest of fairness, medical marijuana dispensaries will also impose limits from time to time. The most common scenario for a purchase limit at a medical marijuana dispensary is when a rare strain is re-stocked or a new strain becomes available.
How much marijuana can you keep in your home?
Recreational users can possess up to ten ounces of marijuana in their homes provided it is locked up. Medical marijuana patients can possess the aforementioned 60-day supply. If you grow your own marijuana, each adult in your household can possess six marijuana plants with a maximum of twelve plants per household.
Important facts about growing marijuana plants in Massachusetts:
- All marijuana plants must be grown inside your primary residence – you cannot store them in a shed or outbuilding.
- With the exception of the one ounce that you can legally give away, you must keep all of the marijuana you harvest from your plants.
- It is illegal to sell any marijuana that you grow in your home
Can my landlord stop me from using marijuana?
If your lease agreement expressly states that no marijuana smoking is allowed, you must abide by those rules or face the same consequences of any other violation. In the case of medical marijuana, there’s a bit of a gray area that you may want to consult a lawyer about. Every lease is different but the key message here is to assume nothing. Talk to your landlord and when in doubt, put it out.
Can you use marijuana in public?
For now, both recreational and medical marijuana can only be used in private residences. Just because you see someone smoking or vaping marijuana in public, doesn’t mean it’s legal to do so. Vaping has really “clouded” this issue (pun intended). There are hundreds of different varieties of e-cigarettes out there. Many of our patients assume that because they see so many people vaping in public that they can do the same with their medical marijuana. It’s not true, so don’t even try it.
Is it true that edibles at recreational marijuana shops aren’t as strong as edibles at medical marijuana dispensaries?
It sure is. According to current Massachusetts state law, recreational edibles can only have up to five milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, per single serving. If multiple servings are sold together, the total package can’t have more than 20 single servings, or 100 milligrams of THC. Medical marijuana dispensaries like Revolutionary Clinics are not subject to these same restrictions which is why we can offer patients products like Watermelon Fruit Chews that contain 105mg of THC…PER CHEW.
Limits on the potency of recreational edibles is one of the most important reasons why a Massachusetts medical marijuana card is still a great thing to have.
When it comes to recreational and medical marijuana in Massachusetts, it’s important to remember that “legal” doesn’t mean “unlimited”. At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re here to help you navigate all the different laws, consumption methods and strain varieties so you can overcome the physical or emotional pain that’s preventing you from living your best life. If you have any questions about the limits of legal marijuana or you’re ready to experience the therapeutic benefits for yourself, give us a call at 617-213-6006.