MGL c.94G. The primary marijuana possession law.
Includes who may possess marijuana, and how much.
Other related laws
- MGL c.10, §§76-77 Cannabis Control Board and Advisory Board
- MGL c.64N Marijuana tax
- MGL c.94C Controlled substances act.
Includes penalties for other drugs, trafficking or possession of larger quantities of marijuana.
- St.2017, c.55 An Act to ensure safe access to marijuana
This law outlines the ability of cities and towns to exercise local control to ban or limit the development of marijuana establishments, sets the special excise tax on adult use marijuana sales to 10.75%, and includes a local option for cities and towns to add a 3% tax on top of the combined 17% between sales and the marijuana specific excise tax.
Selected case law
Comm. v. Cruz, 459 Mass. 459 (2011). "[T]here was no basis on which the police could order the defendant out of the vehicle without at least some other additional fact beyond the mere odor of burnt marijuana... in light of the enactment of G. L. c. 94C, §§ 32L-32N ,..., which decriminalized possession of less than one ounce of marijuana."
Commonwealth v. Gerhardt, 477 Mass. 775 (2017)
"[T]here is as yet no scientific agreement on whether, and, if so, to what extent, [field sobriety] tests are indicative of marijuana intoxication...Neither a police officer nor a lay witness who has not been qualified as an expert may offer an opinion as to whether a driver was under the influence of marijuana." A police officer may testify, however, about his or her observations, including observations of the defendant's performance on requested behaviors. Includes new Model Jury Instruction Regarding Roadside Assessments for Use in Prosecutions for Operating Under the Influence of Marijuana.
Comm. v. Keefner, 461 Mass. 507 (2012). The law which "decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, did not repeal the offense of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of G. L. c.94C, § 32C (a), where the amount of marijuana possessed is one ounce or less."
Comm. v. Richardson, 479 Mass. 344 (2018)
Addresses the prosecution of a person for trafficking in marijuana where that person was legally permitted to grow marijuana for medical purposes. Includes new model jury instructions.
Comm. v. Rodriguez, 472 Mass. 767 (2015). The mere odor of burnt marijuana is insufficient cause to stop a motor vehicle.
A running list of recreational marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts - and those soon to open, Boston.com
Provides information on dispensaries, including locations, hours, parking, and payment options.
Guidance on Home Cultivation. To cultivate marijuana in your home:
- You must be at least 21 years old
- You can only grow up to 6 plants in your home
- If there's more than one person over 21 living in the home who wants to grow at home, the maximum number of plants that may be grown in a home is 12 plants
- The plants must be grown in an area that has a lock or security device
- The plants can't be visible from a public place without the use of binoculars, aircraft or other optical aids
- You can't manufacture at home marijuana or hemp by means of any liquid or gas, other than alcohol, that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit
"Like alcohol, you cannot have an open container of adult-use marijuana or marijuana products in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access. An “open container” includes a package with its seal broken or a package from which the contents have been partially removed. The “passenger area” does not include a trunk or a locked glove compartment."
Frequently Asked Questions about Recreational Marijuana, Cannabis Control Commission
Includes basic information about the Mass. recreational marijuana law, MGL c.94G.
How much marijuana can I possess if I'm over 21?
- On your person — Up to 1 ounce of marijuana. No more than 5 grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate.
- In your home — Up to 10 ounces of marijuana and any marijuana produced by plants cultivated on the premises
Marijuana in Massachusetts - what’s legal?, Dept. of Health
Handy brief list of limits, but without citations to the law
Marijuana retail taxes, Dept. of Revenue
Learn how to request a Certificate of Good Standing to complete the license registration process with the Cannabis Control Commission. You can also learn how to register with MassTaxConnect, file a tax return and pay taxes on the sale of adult use marijuana. File and pay other business-related taxes through MassTaxConnect, including withholding and sales tax.
Open letter to all Federal firearms licensees, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, September 21, 2011.
"any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition."
State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues, Congressional Research Service, 2014
Explores the apparent conflict between federal and state drug laws in light of legalization in Colorado and Washington for small amounts of recreational marijuana
|Last updated:||January 18, 2019|