is weed legal in massachusetts

Is Weed Legal In Massachusetts: Full Guide

Table of Contents

Massachusetts is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, being one of the 13 original colonies and the birthplace of the American Revolution. It is home to many historic sites, such as Plymouth Rock and the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Along with its deep history are beautiful coastal towns, such as Cape Cod, and idyllic New England towns, such as Lexington and Concord. Its revolutionary attitude extends beyond being a foundational state in our country, but in recent years, voters made a revolutionary move to legalize weed. Here’s what you need to know about getting high in the Bay State.

Is Weed Legal in Massachusetts? Straight to the point.

  • Recreational THC: Yes
  • Medical THC: Yes
  • CBD: Yes
  • Delta-8: Yes

Medical Weed Laws

Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana in 2012, making it an acceptable treatment for a variety of ailments and diseases. Both adults and minors who meet the requirements must have a doctor’s approval and certification that they have a crippling, life-limiting illness or condition.

In Massachusetts, medical marijuana is permitted under the following conditions:

  • Acute Muscular Dystrophy (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Several Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s condition
  • Other debilitating conditions determined by a physician

If you have a Massachusetts medical marijuana card, you are allowed to keep 10 ounces of marijuana at home. It is prohibited from being shipped, sold, or transported across state lines, or to anyone who isn’t a medical patient or over 21. To learn more about obtaining your medical marijuana card in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

Recreational Weed Laws

Massachusetts voters legalized recreational cannabis in November 2016 and by December 2016 adults over 21 were allowed to legally possess marijuana. Adults can hold up to once for personal use, although consumption is limited to the privacy of your own home. Similar to alcohol, it is prohibited to have an open container of marijuana in any form in the passenger area of a moving vehicle. Marijuana should be kept in a closed container that is locked in the glove box or the trunk of your car. Cannabis that weighs more than an ounce must be kept locked away if you have any in your home and cannot exceed ten ounces. 

Adults may also grow their own cannabis in Massachusetts, but only for personal use. See below for more information on Cultivation Laws. 

Is Weed Decriminalized in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis, making it a civil offense punishable by fines rather than jail time. Supporters of the move argue that it is a necessary step in reducing the disproportionate burden of marijuana criminalization on marginalized communities. Opponents of decriminalization worry that it could lead to an increase in drug use and addiction, as well as other social problems.

Cannabinoid Variants

In addition to marijuana derived cannabinoids, hemp cannabinoids have become a highly sought after alternative. These cannabinoid variants often come with varying laws in some states, and here is where they stand in Massachusetts.

Is CBD legal in Massachusetts?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production in the United States. This legislation opened up vast possibilities for CBD-rich hemp to enter the mainstream market, allowing consumers to purchase CBD in retail establishments and online. CBD is often found in supplements, topicals, edibles, portable vape pens, home goods, and beauty and body care products. 

The Farm Bill legally protects CBD production, but it is not without stipulation. All commercially available CBD products must be derived from hemp and contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. However, some states have elected to regulate CBD independently and may have further restrictions on its use and distribution. CBD is legal in Massachusetts.

Is Delta-8 legal in Massachusetts?

The quick answer to this question is yes, however there are some restrictions. When smoked or taken orally, the synthetic cannabinoid Delta-8 gives users a similar high as marijuana because it binds to the same brain receptors as THC. Delta-8 is legal so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC and is derived from hemp. 

Is Delta-10 legal in Massachusetts? 

Massachusetts permits the usage of Delta-10 THC. Massachusetts has specifically approved all hemp products that contain a permissible level of Delta 9-THC in accordance with state law, which is in line with federal law.

Are THC-O and other THC variants legal in Massachusetts? 

In recent years, alternative hemp-derived cannabinoids have dominated the market as a more accessible way to get high. However, they have existed in a legal gray area until February 2023. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has declared Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O illegal controlled substances. These compounds are not naturally occurring in either hemp or marijuana and are considered synthetic cannabinoids. 

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp and its byproducts so long as they contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by volume. The market for cannabinoids has grown in the states since then as several alternative cannabinoids emerged, including synthetic THC isomers. 

For the time being, this latest update does not affect alternative cannabinoids like THC-JD, THC-P, THCP-O, THC-H, and THC-B because they do exist naturally in trace amounts. Advocates feel that only the end of the federal prohibition on marijuana will successfully regulate synthetic or naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Are HHC and HHC-O legal in Massachusetts?

HHC and HHC-O are hemp-derived cannabinoids that offer a very mild and mellow high compared to marijuana. They have become popular for their therapeutic effects and are legal in Massachusetts so long as the final product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. 

Cultivation Laws

In Massachusetts, cannabis cultivation is legal for individuals over the age of 21. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission oversees the regulation of cannabis cultivation.

Under the state’s regulations, adults over 21 can grow up to six plants per person, with a limit of twelve plants per household. Cannabis plants must be grown in an enclosed, locked space, and the area must be out of public view.

The state has established certain requirements for the cultivation of cannabis for sale via dispensary channels. Cultivators are also required to comply with all testing, labeling, and packaging requirements established by the Commission. All cannabis sales must be conducted through licensed retailers. In addition, all cannabis products must be tested for potency and purity prior to sale.

Where to Buy Weed in Massachusetts

There are no shortage of options for ways to get high in Massachusetts. Here are a few legal routes, and may we suggest avoiding any illegal avenues. 


Six years after Massachusetts voters approved the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the state’s cannabis market is larger than ever, with more than 225 outlets operating in towns from Provincetown to Pittsfield and total recreational sales surging toward $4 billion. In Massachusetts, marijuana can be bought and used recreationally by anyone who is at least 21 years old. Buyers need not be Massachusetts residents, but they must present a valid government-issued ID when they enter a dispensary.


Yes, Massachusetts residents who are at least 21 years old can take use of weed delivery services.

Direct to Consumer

Massachusetts is one of the few states that does allow direct to consumer marijuana sales. This allows consumers to bypass dispensary channels and purchase directly from cannabis brands. Typically, the brands partner with a delivery service to get consumers their goods.

Black Market

Despite legalization efforts, the marijuana black market remains active. The illegal purchase of weed from a black market dealer comes with serious risks. Not only is it difficult to determine the potency and purity of the product, but the legal implications can be disastrous. In some cases, a mere slap on the wrist, but in others, buying weed illegally results in jail time or a prison sentence. For those that live in a state with a medical or recreational marijuana program, it’s best to obtain cannabis through legal channels.

General FAQ

Where can you smoke weed in Massachusetts? 

According to Massachusetts General Law, you are allowed to consume cannabis on your own land or in a private residence. You are not allowed to use cannabis in any public areas or places where cigarette use is prohibited.

Can you smoke weed in public in Massachusetts? 

Simple answer, no. You may not smoke weed public. You may only consume cannabis products in or on private property.

When was weed legalized in Massachusetts?

Recreational marijuana was legalized on December 15, 2016.

Punishment for Illegal Acts FAQ

What are the penalties for selling, gifting, transporting, or importing weed?

To sell, give, transport, or import cannabis in Massachusetts, you need a dispensary license. A first time offense carries a possible $5,000 fine and up to two years in jail is the penalty for the sale or manufacturing of 50 grams or less.

Distribution of more than 50 grams is a felony that entails a fine equal to double the profit and a sentence of 2 to 15 years in prison or life in prison. Distribution of less than 50 grams is not yet classified. Additionally, it is not permitted close to public housing, parks, or schools.

What is the penalty for selling to a minor?

Distribution to a minor is a felony that carries a 5 to 15-year penalty as well as a fine equal to double the profit.

What is possession with the intent to sell?

When you have more cannabis than you could reasonably consume or more than what is allowed by law, you are in possession with the intent to distribute.

For first-time offenders, possession of up to 50 grams is not yet classified, punishable by a maximum fine of $500 but with the possibility of up to 2 years jail time. A second or subsequent crime carries a maximum punishment of $10,000 and a minimum of 1 to 2.5 years jail term.

Possession of more than 50 – 100 grams of marijuana is considered a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

When is possession still a crime?

Possession is a crime if you hold more than the legal limits or if suspected of intent to distribute.  

Take Action
to Legalize

Show your support for federal legalization of all cannabis.

Text "Vote" to 420-420

Legal Weed Updates

Enter your information below to get updates and alerts about the legality status of weed in your area.

Legal Weed Updates