Know the Law

Recreational Marijuana

Bill H.3932 legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 year of age and older and created the Cannabis Control Commission which promulgated regulations in 2018. Visit the Commission’s website for answers to frequently asked questions about laws governing adult-use marijuana in Massachusetts.

 Important things to know about adult-use marijuana (This is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice):

  • Only adults 21 and older can purchase and possess recreational marijuana.
  • Adults 21 and older can have up to 1 oz of marijuana on their person and up to 10 oz in their home. If you have more than 1 oz of marijuana in your home, it must be locked up.
  • Marijuana can only be bought and sold at state-licensed marijuana retailers.
  • You can't use marijuana in any form (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.) in public or on federal land.
  • It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. You cannot drive with an open container of any form of marijuana in the passenger area of your car.
  • Employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies about the use of marijuana. Check with them to see what is allowed.


Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is a separate program overseen by the Cannabis Control Commission.

 Important things to know about medical marijuana:

  • Medical marijuana is legal for MA residents 18 years and older who have been diagnosed by a MA licensed healthcare provider as having a debilitating medical condition. This includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions determined in writing by a healthcare provider.
  • MA residents under 18 can qualify for medical marijuana if they have a debilitating medical condition that is also life-limiting and they have been diagnosed by two MA licensed certifying physicians.
  • Qualifying patients must obtain a written certification from their health care provider and a registration card from the state in order to purchase medical marijuana.
  • Medical marijuana can only be bought and sold at state-licensed dispensaries.
  • Personal caregivers can register to assist a registered qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana.


Last reviewed April 2019 

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