In November 2016, over a million Massachusetts residents took to the polls to vote in favor of the legalization of recreational marijuana. While the law may have passed with flying colors, it's not without its fair share of rules and regulations.
Marijuana can only be purchased at a dispensary and consumed by adults at least 21 years of age in amounts up to 1 ounce outside of their residence and 10 ounces inside their residence. Tourists are also legally able to purchase and consumer marijuana, granted they are able to produce an official government ID proving they are of age. However, tourists and residents are not allowed to take any marijuana purchased in Massachusetts outside state lines.
Each retail sale of marijuana products is now subject to a 3.75% excise tax, and an additional 2% city tax, totally at a full 12% tax on all marijuana products. This can make it difficult for aspiring business owners to leverage costs.
There are also limitations placed upon there where, when and how cannabis is allowed to be grown. Currently, it is not legal for marijuana to be "home grown" in public. The growing of cannabis is only allowed in private locations where it cannot be seen by the public. This limitation was set in place in order to discourage theft and the use of cannabis by minors.
As the State currently has a year to establish trade, tax, and licensing laws, residents and visitors can expect to see retail marijuana shops open in the public sometime in early 2018.
While the recreational laws regarding cannabis are currently in an evolving state, medicinal marijuana continues to be available to card carrying patients throughout Massachusetts.
With lawmakers hard at work to finalize any pending laws for the sales and distribution of cannabis, it is important to stay up to date regarding current laws.