growing weed in massachusetts

Marijuana in Massachusetts – what’s legal?

Table of Contents

Adult use

Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts for people 21 and older, but that doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere you want. Here are some basics about the law:

  • You can’t use marijuana in any form (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.) in public or on federal land
  • You can have up to 1 oz on you and up to 10 oz in your home
  • You can grow up to 6 plants in your home, and up to 12 plants for 2 or more adults
  • If you have more than 1 oz of marijuana in your home, it has to be locked up. But it’s best to keep any amount locked away to keep kids and pets safe.
  • Like alcohol, you can’t have an open container of any form of marijuana in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access. It must be stored in a closed container in your trunk or a locked glove compartment.
  • It’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. If you use, don’t get behind the wheel. Instead, use public transportation, ride-shares, or catch a ride with a sober friend.
  • Employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies about the use of marijuana. Check with them to see what is legal.

For more information about the regulations that govern what you can and can’t do, how much you can grow and have, and when and where it’s okay to use, visit the Cannabis Control Commission.

Learn more about the laws governing adult use of marijuana.



Is weed legal in Massachusetts?

Yes, both medical and recreational, i.e. adult-use, marijuana are legal in the Pilgrim State.

Possession of more than 1 ounce but not more than 2 ounces outside the home is a misdemeanor with a potential penalty of a $100 fine and forfeiture of the cannabis in excess of 1 ounce.

Legislation history

Voters approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative, or Question 3 , in November 2012. Question 3 established the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program, initially administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), to regulate medical marijuana across the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, or Question 4 , passed by voters in November 2016, legalized cannabis use for adults 21 and older and created the Cannabis Control Commission (the Commission) to regulate marijuana statewide. Retail sales began in November 2018.

When it was time for legislators to enact Question 4 into law, the two houses had differing approaches but a compromise bill was eventually approved. H 3818 was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in July 2017 and became Chapter 55 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The bill added two more members to the Commission and made the marijuana excise tax 10.75% on top of the state sales tax of 6.25% while also allowing cities to add 3%, for a total of 20% tax on adult-use marijuana. Medical cannabis remained tax-free. The bill also allowed jurisdictions that had voted against legalization to ban retail sales with a vote of the city council while jurisdictions that voted for it would need a referendum to ban sales.

Where is safe to purchase?

Medical marijuana

Registered patients can purchase a 60-day supply of medical cannabis from any state-licensed dispensary. The 60-day supply is limited to 10 ounces, though the certifying health care provider can specify more on the patient’s certificate. There are medical marijuana delivery services available, and a designated caregiver may transport medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary or grow site to a registered patient. Medical marijuana is tax-exempt in Massachusetts.


Adults age 21 and older can purchase 1 ounce of cannabis or 5 grams of concentrate from licensed marijuana retailers. Adult-use cannabis is subject to a 6.25% sales tax, a 10.75% state excise tax, and a potential municipal tax of up to 3%. As such, most adult-use consumers could encounter a total tax rate of about 20%.

Finding licensed dispensaries in Massachusetts

Registered patients can find licensed dispensaries in Massachusetts and search by cities including Boston, Worcester, and North Hampton. Many dispensaries in Massachusetts offer delivery and curbside pickup services in addition to storefront sales.

Where is it safe to consume?

Cannabis can be consumed on private property, but marijuana products cannot be smoked, eaten, or vaped in public. Furthermore, cannabis products cannot be smoked where tobacco smoking is prohibited. Adult-use consumers as well as registered patients and their caregivers can carry cannabis in their vehicles as long as it is in a sealed container in the trunk or a locked glove compartment.

Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal. Neither drivers nor passengers may consume marijuana in a vehicle. Consumption is generally banned in public but the Commission does allow local jurisdictions to set their own rules around cafes, smoke rooms, or other options for social consumption.

The Commission offers a fact sheet on adult consumption in Massachusetts .


Adults 21 and older, as well as patients and their caregivers, are allowed to possess 10 ounces (283 grams) of cannabis inside their homes, and less than 1 ounce (28 grams) in public. Adults are also allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants per person and up to 12 per household in their homes.

While medical and adult-use cannabis are now legal in Massachusetts, both patients and consumers still face penalties for violating what is allowable under state law . Specifically, public consumption of cannabis or smoking it where smoking tobacco is prohibited can result in a fine of $100, and possessing an open container of cannabis in a vehicle can result in a fine of $500.

View the marijuana laws & regulations for Massachusetts.