Legal, recreational weed has been sweeping across the west coast at a rapid pace. Medical pot shops and deliveries are now available in Masschusetts, recretional marijuana deliveries are another story. While Northeasterners have been a little slower to embrace this burgeoning national trend, in 2016 voters in Massachusetts and Maine bucked the prohibitionist trend that’s been a staple of the East Coast since the Puritans and legalized marijuana for recreational use.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the wild wild East. Take Massachusetts as an example. Since voters there approved recreational weed, more than 120 towns across the commonwealth have enacted bans of one sort or another on marijuana business owners to keep legal weed out of their back yards.
Legal weed isn’t totally new to Massachusetts though. In 2008 voters decided to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot, and in 2012 voters decided it was time to bring legal, medical marijuana to the state. But the outright legalization of recreational marijuana is new to the commonwealth so there remain some hurdles, roadblocks and penalties that you need to be aware of before you toke up.
Dos and Don’ts for Pot in Massachusetts
- Legal: It’s legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
- Illegal: Having any more than an ounce on you can still land you in jail for six months and could come with up to a $500 fine.
- Growing: Adults can grow up to six plants on their property, but you’re only allowed 12 plants per residence. The plants also can’t be visible to the public.
- Not on the Street: While marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, like in many other places where recreational weed is now okay, it still remains illegal to buy or sell weed unless the seller possess a state license. So if you’re a local or just traveling to The Bay State, support your legal marijuana businesses in order to avoid any unwanted run in with the police.
- Paraphernalia: There’s no penalty for selling, purchasing or even having paraphernalia on your person in the state.
- Beware of School Zones: It’s also still a felony to bring weed within 300 ft. of a school in Massachusetts, and that comes with hefty penalties, including a maximum 15 year prison sentence and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Don’t Smoke in Public Parks: Smoking in public parks can also land you in the slammer or get you smacked with a large fine.
How do you get Weed in Massachusetts?
- Pot shops: While voters approved recreational marijuana in 2016, setting up the regulatory hurdles around the state’s newest industry was left up to lawmakers, many of whom opposed legalization. So they’ve been slow to get the system up and running. Most pot shops aren’t expected to come on line until about half way through 2018. You can find them right here.
- Dispensaries: There were a number of medical marijuana dispensaries that were around before recreational weed was allowed in the state.
- Deliveries: Marijuana is bringing out the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit, which is on full display in Massachusetts with its new marijuana delivery companies. You can just sit on your couch and thumb though this list to find the companies that are happy to bring your high, or your medicine, right to your door.