Massachusetts Legal Information

In 2012, 63 % of Massachusetts voters approved Question 3, “An Initiative Petition for a Law for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana,” establishing legal protection for medical cannabis patients, caregivers, physicians and medical professionals, cultivators, and providers. Registered patients and their designated caregivers may possess up to a 60-day supply of usable cannabis, defined as 10 ounces. Some protections for patients began January 1, 2013 including limited rights to cultivate their own medicine. In 2014, the Department of Health (DPH) began issuing ID cards for patients and granting licenses for dispensaries. “Registered marijuana dispensaries” are licensed to both grow and sell medical cannabis and are required to provide medicine at discounted rates for low-income residents. DPH issues hardship cultivation licenses to patients who can demonstrate hardship qualifications.

As of December 2016, DPH has issued 15 licenses and 6 dispensaries are serving patients. In 2016, DPH announced it will be accepting application for dispensaries on a rolling basis. 


In This Section

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law & Regulations

On November 6, 2012, the voters of Massachusetts approved Question 3, “An Initiative Petition for a Law for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana,” by 63 percent establishing legal protection for medical cannabis patients, caregivers, physicians and medical professionals, cultivators, and providers, some of which went into effect as of January 1, 2013.

Facing state or federal charges?

Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.

Becoming a Patient in Massachusetts

Massachusetts voters in November 2012 established legal protection for medical cannabis patients, caregivers, physicians and medical professionals, cultivators, and providers, some of which went into effect as of January 1, 2013. As of September 2013, program details are under development by the state Department of Public Health (DPH).

Recommending Cannabis in Massachusetts

Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must have an active full license, with no prescribing restriction, to practice medicine in Massachusetts and a Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration. Physicians must become a certifying physician through applying once through the Department of Public Health (DPH). A written certification shall be issued in a form and manner determined by DPH.

MA Caregiver, Producer & Provider Info

Every state has varying laws and regulations for caregivers, cultivators and medical cannabis providers. This section includes an overview of state requirements and links to necessary forms and applications.