Is Cannabis Legal In Massachusetts?

Massachusetts voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana through a ballot initiative in November 2016. The law went into effect on December 15, 2016. The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) was established to regulate and oversee the implementation of the state’s marijuana laws.
Possession: Adults aged 21 and older are allowed to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes.
The possession limit for adults is up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana in public. At home or within a locked space in a vehicle, adults can possess up to 10 ounces (283 grams) of marijuana. The larger limit at home is intended to accommodate personal use and storage. It is important to note that the possession limits apply to the total amount of marijuana, including any marijuana-infused products (edibles, concentrates, etc.).

Medical Marijuana:

Massachusetts has had a medical marijuana program in place since 2013. Qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions can obtain a medical marijuana card to access medical cannabis from registered dispensaries. Medical marijuana patients have different possession limits and can possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana for their medical condition, as recommended by their healthcare provider.

Age Restrictions:

Only adults aged 21 and older can legally possess, consume, and purchase marijuana for recreational use.
It is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to possess or consume marijuana, except for qualified medical marijuana patients who are under 18 and have parental consent.

Public Consumption:

Public consumption of marijuana is strictly prohibited in Massachusetts.
It is illegal to smoke, vape, or consume marijuana in public places, including parks, sidewalks, streets, and bars. Consumption is only allowed in private residences or in private spaces where the property owner permits its use.

Federal Considerations:

While Massachusetts has legalized marijuana for recreational use, it remains illegal under federal law. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. federal government, which means it is considered illegal and has no recognized medical use. The federal government generally follows a policy of non-interference in states that have legalized marijuana, as long as state regulations are followed and there is no interstate trafficking or other federal offenses involved.


In Massachusetts, licensed dispensaries, also known as adult-use or recreational marijuana stores, offer a variety of products for purchase. Here are some of the common items you can find in a dispensary:

  1. Flower/Bud: Dispensaries sell a selection of cannabis flower or bud, which is the raw, harvested plant material. It comes in different strains, each with its unique combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and effects.
  2. Pre-Rolls: These are pre-rolled joints or blunts filled with ground cannabis flower. Pre-rolls provide convenience for those who prefer not to roll their own.
  3. Edibles: Dispensaries offer a wide range of edible cannabis products, such as gummies, chocolates, baked goods, beverages, and more. Edibles are infused with cannabinoids like THC or CBD and provide an alternative to smoking or vaping.
  4. Concentrates: These are highly potent cannabis extracts. Dispensaries may carry concentrates like wax, shatter, resin, budder, or live resin. These products are typically consumed through dabbing or vaporization.
  5. Vape Cartridges: Vape cartridges contain cannabis oil or distillate that is compatible with vape pens or vaporizers. They provide a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis.
  6. Tinctures and Sublingual Products: These are liquid cannabis extracts that are taken orally by placing a few drops under the tongue. They are absorbed through the mucous membranes for quicker effects.
  7. Topicals: Dispensaries may offer cannabis-infused creams, lotions, balms, and oils designed for topical application. Topicals are often used for localized relief from pain, inflammation, or skin conditions.
  8. Accessories: Dispensaries may also sell a variety of cannabis-related accessories, such as vaporizers, pipes, bongs, rolling papers, grinders, and storage containers.

It’s important to note that product availability and selection may vary between dispensaries, as they are independently owned and operated. Additionally, potency, strain availability, and product formulations can vary. It’s recommended to check with specific dispensaries or their websites to see their current menu and product offerings.


NETA (New England Treatment Access): NETA operates dispensaries in Brookline and Northampton. They offer a wide range of cannabis products and have a reputation for quality and customer service.

Located in Leicester, Cultivate was one of the first two recreational dispensaries to open in Massachusetts. They offer a variety of cannabis strains and products.

With locations in Great Barrington and Bridgewater, Theory Wellness focuses on providing high-quality cannabis products and a personalized customer experience.

Patriot Care has dispensaries in Boston, Lowell, and Greenfield. They offer a range of cannabis products, including flower, edibles, and concentrates.

Located in Pittsfield, Berkshire Roots is known for its extensive selection of cannabis strains and products. They have a cultivation facility on-site, ensuring a fresh and diverse product lineup.

Garden Remedies has dispensaries in Newton, Melrose, Marlborough, and Framingham. They offer a range of cannabis products and emphasize patient care and education.