Four years after approving comprehensive medical cannabis legislation in 2012, voters in Massachusetts fully legalized recreational cannabis for adults.
CBD from Hemp Oil in Massachusetts
Hemp CBD oil is federally legal in the U.S. Individual state laws, however, are dynamic and some states have and will enact their own laws regulating hemp-derived CBD.
Medical Cannabis in Massachusetts
With 63% of voters approving Ballot Question 3 in November 2012, medical cannabis became legal in Massachusetts. Under the law, patients over 18 years of age must be approved by a physician and certified by the state before being legally allowed to possess up to a “60 day supply” of cannabis. Patients under the age of 18 can qualify for medical cannabis provided two Massachusetts licensed certifying physicians diagnose the patient as having either a debilitating life-limiting illness or a condition where both physicians believe the benefits of cannabis outweigh the risks.
Patients can apply for a hardship cultivation registration due to financial hardship, physical incapacity to travel to a dispensary, or living beyond a reasonable distance of a dispensary. Being approved for a hardship cultivation registration allows patients or his or her caregiver to cultivate a limited number of plants sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of cannabis.
Conditions approved for medical cannabis in Massachusetts include:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
As of November 30, 2016, Massachusetts has nine dispensaries that are fully operational, 33,079 active patients and 173 registered physicians participating in the program.
You can find Massachusetts’ Medical Use of Cannabis Program website here.
Recreational Cannabis in Massachusetts
Ballot initiative Question 4 was approved by 54 percent of voters in November 2016, legalizing adult use Cannabis and subjecting it to taxes and rules similar to those that apply to alcohol. Under the law, which took effect December 15, 2016, adults 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of Cannabis, keep up to 10 ounces of Cannabis at home, and grow up to six plants for personal use. Cannabis edibles and concentrates are also legal under the law.
Retail sales of recreational Cannabis were originally slated to begin January 2018, but Massachusetts lawmakers voted to push that date back six months to July 1, 2018 instead. The delay, the lawmakers claim, is to better ensure public health and safety.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts’ medical Cannabis program, patients that have been approved for a hardship cultivation registration can grow a limited amount of cannabis for medical use.
Under Question 4, adults that are aged 21 and older can grow up to six plants at home for personal use.
Massachusetts has not, however, made any changes to cultivation policy related to industrial hemp, in spite of the change in Federal policy through the “Farm bill.”