97,003
Registered Patient Population
1.36%
of Total Population Represented by Patients
139
Total Medical Retail Locations Currently in Operation
69,786 : 1
Patients : Retail

Cannabis is legal to all adults over 21 in Massachusetts. Any adult may cultivate up to six plants at home, or up to 12 plants in a household of two or more adults. Registered patients are exempt from the taxes levied cannabis products for adult-use consumers. Patients may possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis or 1.5 ounces of concentrates in public. Massachusetts dispensaries do not honor out of state medical cannabis cards. Some protections for patients began January 1, 2013, including limited rights to cultivate their own medicine, and the Department of Health (DOH) began issuing ID cards for patients and granting licenses for medical dispensaries in 2014. Massachusetts still does not provide patient protections in the area of housing. Details on how these laws apply to patients and medical professionals can be found below.

In 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation, expunging the criminal records of those convicted of certain prior marijuana offenses. Any recorded offense that is no longer a crime is eligible to be sealed, with the exception of cases in which the offense or elements of the offense are still considered a punishable crime under a separate designation. For more information, refer to Massachusetts title section 100A and Bill S 2371.

Home cultivation is allowed in Massachusetts, for adults 21 and older. Six cannabis plants for medical or recreational use. The state allows up to twelve plants per household regardless of the total number of adults over 21.

NOTICE: It can be challenging for patients to determine which businesses offering cannabis products are licensed and approved by the state. Review this list of medical cannabis retailers and/or a list of adult use retailers to find out where to purchase regulated cannabis in Massachusetts. 

Traveling? Get more information about traveling in the US here. 

Navigating Massachusetts State Laws:

Patients and Caregivers: Enrolling and Accessing Medical Cannabis

Medical Professionals: Procedures for recommending Medical Cannabis

Policymakers and Advocates: Actions Needed to Improve Laws for Patients

Get involved locally!

Take Action!

Here is a breakdown of how Massachusetts fared in ASA’s Annual State of the States Report, which evaluates the effectiveness of each state cannabis program from a patient perspective and assigns a grade using a rubric that reflects the key issues affecting patient access. Medical cannabis laws are constantly changing, ASA’s policy recommendations for Massachusetts can be found below. For policy updates sign up here.

Patient Rights and Civil Protections 60/100   
Arrest Protection 25/25
Affirmative Defense 20/20
Parental Rights Protections 0/20
DUI Protections 0/10
Employment Protections 10/20
Explicit Privacy Standards 5/5
Access to Medicine 65/100   
Authorizes Retail Access 10/10
Alternative Accessibility Methods 20/20
- Authorizes Delivery 10/10
- Authorizes Curbside Pickup 10/10
Personal Cultivation 15/15
Collective Gardening 0/5
Sufficient Number of Licensed Retailers 15/30
Reciprocity 5/20
Program Functionality 67/100   
Legal Protections Within Reasonable Time Frame 20/20
Reasonable Possession Limits 10/10
Reasonable Purchase Limits 10/10
Telemedicine for Physician Certifications 7/15
Patient and Physician Representation in Program Decision Making 0/20
Reasonable Caregiver Standards 5/5
- Background Checks 2/2
- Number of Caregivers 3/3
Reasonable Physician Standards 5/5
Access to Administration Methods 10/10
- Allows Dried Flower 5/5
- Allows Edibles, Concentrates, and Other Forms 5/5
Provides Access to Minors on School Grounds 0/5
Affordability 60/100   
Sales Tax Break for Patients and Caregivers 20/20
Covered by State Insurance or Health Aid 0/20
Reasonable Registration Fees 20/20
Financial Hardship Waivers or Discounts 20/20
Donation Program 0/10
Allows Multi-Year Registrations 0/10
Health and Social Equity 75/100   
State Program Protections 25/25
Housing Protections 20/25
Access for Minors 10/10
Access in Underserved Areas 5/10
List of Qualifying Conditions is Exhaustive or All Inclusive 5/10
Allows Patients to Medicate Where they Choose 0/10
Organ Transplants 5/5
Ownership or Employment Restrictions 5/5
Consumer Protection and Product Safety 138/200   
Cultivation Operations 41/50
Quality Management Systems 10/10
Staff Training 10/10
Standard Operating Procedures 8/8
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Storage 1/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Water Management 1/1
- Records Management 1/1
Pesticide Usage Limitations 2/2
Environmental Impact Regulations 2/2
Required Testing 5/8
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Microbials 1/1
- Aflatoxins 1/1
- Pesticides 1/1
- Heavy Metals 1/1
- Foreign Matter 0/1
- Moisture Content/ Water Activity 0/1
Packaging and Labeling 1/3
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Pesticides 0/1
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting, and Recall Protocol 3/7
Manufacturing Operations 39/50
Quality Management Systems 10/10
Staff Training 10/10
Standard Operating Procedures 7/7
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 1/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Storage 1/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Records Management 1/1
Environmental Impact Regulations 3/3
Required Testing 5/10
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Microbials 1/1
- Aflatoxins 1/1
- Pesticides 0/1
- Heavy Metals 1/1
- Residual Solvents 1/1
- Homogeneity 0/1
- Foreign Matter 0/1
- Water Activity 0/1
Packaging and Labeling 4/5
- Cannabinoids 1/1
- Terpenes 0/1
- Ingredients 1/1
- Allergens 1/1
- Nutritional Content 1/1
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting and Recall Protocol 0/5
Dispensary Operations 26/50
Staff Training 20/20
Standard Operating Procedures 6/7
- Facility Sanitation 0/1
- Workplace Safety 1/1
- Storage 1/1
- Batch and Lot Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 1/1
- Records Management 1/1
Product Testing 0/10
- Product Meets Requirements Before Sale 0/5
- COA Disclosure 0/5
Complaints, Adverse Event Reporting and Recall Protocol 0/13
Laboratory Operations 32/50
Independent or Third-Party 5/5
Laboratory Sampling 0/5
Method Validation 2/4
Quality Management Systems 3/5
Staff Training 20/20
Standard Operating Procedures 2/7
- Facility and Equipment Sanitation 0/1
- Equipment and Instrument Calibration 0/1
- Workplace Safety 0/1
- Sample Tracking 1/1
- Security 1/1
- Waste Disposal 0/1
- Records Management 0/1
Result Reporting 0/4
Score Penalties 20/100   
Gives Regulatory Preference to Adult Use 20/20
Classifies Cannabis as a Medicine of Last Resort 0/15
Administrative or Supply Problems 0/15
Requires Vertical Integration 0/10
Creates New Criminal Penalties for Patients 0/10
Limits Patients to a Single Retailer 0/10
No System for Adding Qualifying Conditions 0/10
Imposes Bans or Limits on THC 0/5
Imposes Bans or Limits on CBD 0/5
Excerpted from ASA's 2022 State of the States Report.
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