Question 4 permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or up to 5 grams of concentrate; in addition, adults may legally possess up to ten ounces of marijuana flower in their home) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 3.75 percent excise tax on commercial marijuana sales. Under the law, localities have the authority to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana businesses.
The new law takes effect on December 15, 2016. Regulators are scheduled to begin accepting applications from marijuana-related businesses on October 1, 2017. You can read the full text of Question 4 here.
“In the face of inaction from elected officials, voters in the Bay State sent a resounding message this evening that it is time to move away from our failed, racist policy of marijuana prohibition and towards a safer, regulated industry,” said Erik Altieri, NORML’s new Executive Director. “By legalizing the adult use of marijuana, Massachusetts will shrink the illicit black market, generate millions in tax revenue, end the arrest of otherwise law abiding citizens, and better enable society to keep marijuana out of the hands of children.”
State and Relevant Medical Marijuana Laws
Effective: Jan. 1, 2013″The citizens of Massachusetts intend that there should be no punishment under state law for qualifying patients, physicians and health care professionals, personal caregivers for patients, or medical marijuana treatment center agents for the medical use of marijuana…In the first year after the effective date, the Department shall issue registrations for up to thirty-five non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers, provided that at least one treatment center shall be located in each county, and not more than five shall be located in any one county.”
Approved diagnosis: “Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.”
Possession/Cultivation: Patients may posses a sixty-day supply, defined as 10 ounces.
“The Department shall issue a cultivation registration to a qualifying patient whose access to a medical treatment center is limited by verified financial hardship, a physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation, or the lack of a treatment center within a reasonable distance of the patient’s residence. The Department may deny a registration based on the provision of false information by the applicant. Such registration shall allow the patient or the patient’s personal caregiver to cultivate a limited number of plants, sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of marijuana, and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked facility.”
Updates: The DPH website wrote on Oct. 8, 2014 that “the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System (MMJ Online System) is now available for qualifying patients to register to possess marijuana for medical purposes. You will need to register with the MMJ Online System by January 1, 2015 in order to possess marijuana for medical purposes, even if you already have a paper written certification from your physician. Paper written certifications will no longer be valid as of February 1st, 2015.”
Contact and Program Details
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
On February 12, 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker’s Administration approved Patriot Care Corp. to begin retail sales of marijuana to registered qualifying patients and personal caregivers.
Patient Registry Fee:
Accepts other states’ registry ID cards?