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Massachusetts Marijuana Laws

January 1, 2013. It eliminates statewide criminal and civil penalties related to the possession and use of up to a sixty-day supply of cannabis by qualified patients.

A few years later, in November 2016, Massachusetts voters again changed the law by passing a ballot initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The law is effective as of December 15, 2016, and it authorizes adults (21 years of age or older) to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside of their residence and up to 10 ounces within their residences. Adults are also authorized to grow up to 6 marijuana plants in their residences and to give up to 1 ounce of marijuana to another adult without payment.

Ballot Question 3 -- Approved Nov. 6, 2012 by 63% of voters
Effective: Jan. 1, 2013

Department of Public Health of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
One Ashburton Place
11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-624-5062



Code Sections

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C, Section 31 (identifying the classes of controlled substances)

Department of Public Health Regulation 105CMR 725.000 (medical marijuana)

*Check back for statutory changes reflecting the new ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use, including regulations for business licenses that will phase in over time.

Possession Limits

Authorized patients can have no more than 10 ounces of marijuana every 2 months.

Home Cultivation

This is authorized in limited amounts

Additional Limitations

The number of state-licensed dispensaries is not to exceed 35.

Physicians must register as certifying physicians in order to prescribe medical marijuana.


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