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Marijuana in Massachusetts: What to know now that it’s legal

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First thing: Don’t sell it


Recreational marijuana is expected to become legal for adults 21 and over in Massachusetts on Dec. 15, voters having overwhelming approved the measure Nov. 8.

Here are answers to key questions about legalization:

Where can I buy? Short answer: Nowhere legally, really. It’s still illegal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts for recreational use—and might be for at least a year, until the state licenses the first pot retailers. One caveat: Sales to those prescribed medical marijuana are perfectly legal from the proper vendors.

So, for now, it’s smoke ‘em if you got ‘em? Pretty much.

O.K., but how much can I possess, supposing I know where to get it? Up to an ounce outside of the home, and up to 10 ounces inside the home.

Can I grow marijuana after Dec. 15? Yes—a resident may grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. If more than one adult lives in a household, the allowable number doubles to 12.

I could turn entrepreneur then, right? No. It’s perfectly fine to give up to an ounce to another adult at least 21 years of age, but it’s illegal to sell marijuana person-to-person. If you want to become a pot retailer, you have to get a license, etc.

Any other catches for private use/growth? Check with your landlord and your condo association. Individual complexes and buildings may have prohibitions against marijuana smoking. However! Leases cannot bar tenants from consuming pot by means other than smoking it. Finally, home cultivation should be done securely and away from public view.

Gee, seems like a lot of rules. Where can I smoke? At home, basically, if you’re allowed to. Otherwise, pot smoking remains illegal in public in Massachusetts and really illegal in places such as schools, in cars (especially if you’re the driver), and university campuses.

On campus? Really? Yes. Because marijuana consumption is still illegal under federal law and nearly every college and university gets some form of federal help.

Guess I shouldn’t be driving my 10 ounces of weed across state lines then? Or carting it on the Acela to New York? Exactly. Massachusetts is for now surrounded by states where recreational marijuana is illegal.