Medical (Comprehensive) and Recreational (Comprehensive)

Important Dates

2008: Voters decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis.
2012: Question 3 legalized the use of medical marijuana.
2016: Question 4 legalized the use of recreational marijuana, although the sale of marijuana in the state was delayed until 2018.
2017: The marijuana laws received a re-write, increasing taxation and delaying the opening of retail shops by at least six months.


Massachusetts’ involvement in the marijuana industry dates back to the early 1900s when they became one of the first states to restrict cannabis at the state level.  However, in 2008, the possession of small amounts of cannabis was decriminalized, making less than one ounce punishable by a $100 fine.

Massachusetts was the eighteenth state to legalize medical marijuana when voters passed Question 3 by 63% in November of 2012, making the possession and use of up to a 60-day supply of medical cannabis legal for card-carrying patients. In December 2016, recreational marijuana officially became legal state-wide after Question 4 was passed by 53% in November. However, in 2017, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill re-writing the laws to include higher taxation on cannabis, expanding the oversight structure and more. Retail marijuana shops are set to open in July of 2018.


Can I possess, buy or grow marijuana in Massachusetts?

In public, individuals over the age of 21 can possess up to one ounce of useable marijuana and up to five grams of hash or concentrates. A person can have up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside their home.

A single individual may grow and cultivate up to six marijuana plants for personal use inside their home. Up to 12 plants can be grown and cultivated for personal use if more than one adult lives on the property. The plants must not be visible from a public place, such as the street.

Can I operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in Massachusetts?

No. It is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of any amount of marijuana.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts?

In order to become a medical marijuana patient, you must receive a written certification from a doctor. Then, you must register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program. Once approved, you’ll receive a Medical Use of Marijuana Program ID Card.

Can I use marijuana in public in Massachusetts?

No, you must smoke marijuana on private property.

Can I sell marijuana in Massachusetts?

You are able to gift up to one ounce of marijuana to another individual but you cannot legally sell it at this time unless to a registered medical marijuana patient. In 2018, Massachusetts will start to grant licenses for retail shops to open.


The information presented here should not be construed as legal advice. State and Federal laws are always subject to change. We aim to keep this page as updated as possible; however, for additional information regarding Massachusetts marijuana laws, please see the Massachusetts judicial branch website, the Massachusetts Health and Human Services website, Find Law and the National Conference of State Legislatures.