Know Before You Grow: Legal Marijuana Use in Massachusetts

July 26, 2018

*These posts are presented for entertainment purposes and are not intended to provide legal advice. Consult with a lawyer for legal advice.


Rick James sung about his promiscuous lover Mary Jane. The Beatles saw the Walrus. Bob Marley wrote a sexy tribute to Kaya. Whether you refer to it as weed, pot, kush, grass, herb, joint, marijuana or any other host of street names used to describe cannabis, the most used illegal drug in the country just became less so.



Marijuana has gained traction in recent years among a majority of the country. In fact, a 2017 Gallup poll showed a record high support for legalizing marijuana use, the highest point in nearly five decades.



According to the Business Insider, as of 2018 there are about thirty states which have legalized marijuana. In effect for more than 80 years, the use, sale and possession of marijuana is still banned on the federal level. Although, also according to another Gallup poll, there is increased support against the federal government overriding state laws on the issue. The majority of states, thirty so far, have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational use. As of 2018, Massachusetts joined those states who have legalized it for both


recreational and medical use. A direct result of this change in policy allowing legalized recreational use is that the kush industry is booming, seeing almost $10 billion in 2017.



Photo by Robert Nelson on Unsplash



It was a much-publicized change in Massachusetts law in December 2016. That law announced July 1, 2018 as D-day, making it legal to grow, sell and give away small quantities of cannabis in Massachusetts. However, after much ado, that day came and went without so much as a puff of tar, strawberry, peach, citrus or any other odor associated with different strains of the plant.


Advocates of the law are frustrated at the slow speed of the rollout in the more than two years since the law was passed and the absence of even a single retail outlet for the sale of recreational use of marijuana. What’s the hold up? As with many laws that broke controversial ground, some are using a wait and see attitude.  That is, perhaps no one wants to be the first to test the law and everyone is waiting for someone else to get things rolling. However, The more probable cause of the lack of retail movement is the vetting process at the local level  and from the cannabis commission.


According to the Hartford Courant, on Monday, the first provisional retail license was issued to Cultivate Holdings in Leicester. Another company in Milford, MA, Sira Naturals was awarded a license to grow and transport recreational marijuana. Subject to an inspection and fingerprinting of staff, we may soon see the first retail movement in the next few weeks.


Unlike medicinal use marijuana, recreational use marijuana is taxable and you can be fined for failing to lock up your marijuana.  As a recreational user, you still cannot smoke or use marijuana in public (including your car) and you cannot purchase marijuana in permitted use states and take them into non-permitted use states. So, even if we see really progress in the next few weeks in the form of these retailers setting up brick and mortar, don’t be so quick to roll a joint and fire up some Bob Marley to get into the mood without knowing about recreational use of marijuana in your state.


*These posts are presented for entertainment purposes and are not intended to provide legal advice. Consult with a lawyer for legal advice.