Marijuana Dispensaries in Boston, MA

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Marijuana Dispensaries in Boston, MA

Buying cannabis from a Boston dispensary

When Massachusetts became the first state on the eastern seaboard to legalize recreational cannabis, Boston immediately became a top tourist destination for cannabis seekers. Though Boston has made history for hundreds of reasons in the past, now visitors have a new reason to celebrate the city’s present — but only if they know how to visit a Boston dispensary legally and consume cannabis products safely.

Cannabis laws in Boston, MA

Both medical and recreational cannabis are legal and available in Boston. In both cases, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly supported initiatives for legalizing cannabis, and lawmakers moved fast to develop commonwealth law for making cannabis available to those interested in consuming it. Medical marijuana has been available in Boston dispensaries since 2013, and recreational dispensaries in Boston have been open and operational since 2018.

Boston’s rules for recreational cannabis

Boston allows adults aged 21 and older to purchase, possess, and consume small amounts of cannabis. As in other states, the purchasing and possession limit in Boston is one ounce of cannabis, but users can keep up to 10 ounces of cannabis at home, as long as it is properly secured from pets, children, and non-qualified adults. Both pickup and delivery services are legal from Boston dispensaries, but like alcohol, cannabis must adhere to closed container laws in public spaces; in vehicles, it must be in a sealed package in the trunk or glove compartment.

Users are allowed to cultivate up to six cannabis plants for personal use, with no more than 12 plants per household with two or more adults. Cultivation must take place away from public view in a restricted space.

Boston’s medical marijuana rules

Medical cannabis is available to patients who register with the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program, a department of the Cannabis Control Commission which sets all cannabis-related regulations in the state. Patients with qualifying health conditions can obtain an identification card which grants them access to medical dispensaries as well as slightly higher possession limits for cannabis products. Patients younger than 18 can also apply to the program, but qualifying circumstances are more limited, and minors must appoint adult caregivers to visit a Boston dispensary and administer treatment on their behalf.

 A registered patient can purchase a 60-day supply of medical cannabis, which by default amounts to 10 ounces of cannabis but can be more given a health care provider’s recommendation. Patients are also permitted to grow their own cannabis at home, following the same rules as recreational cultivation.

How to get a medical marijuana card in Boston

Patients aged 18 or older can apply to the Medical Use of Marijuana Program both online and through traditional postal services. Applications require certification of a qualifying disease from a qualified healthcare provider, to include an MD, DO, or CNP licensed in Massachusetts. Providers must confirm a patient’s diagnosis, recommend cannabis as treatment, and set a reasonable possession limit for the patient in their certification. Patients must also submit a copy of government-issued photo ID and a $50 registration fee. Accepted patients will receive a plastic ID card within two weeks of submitting their application.

Where is it legal to consume cannabis in Boston?

Public consumption of any kind — even discreet methods like oils, edibles, and vaping — is strictly prohibited in Boston. Both recreational and medical users are allowed to consume cannabis products only in private spaces, away from public view. Currently, Boston does not allow cannabis social lounges, and consumption on Boston dispensary property remains illegal, as well.

How much does cannabis cost in Boston?

As one of few East Coast cities to allow cannabis sales, Boston tends to have higher cannabis prices than the rest of the country. On average, a gram of cannabis flower costs about $15, and it is common for manufactured products, like concentrates and extracts, to cost upwards of $50 per gram at Boston dispensaries.

Cannabis taxes in Boston

Recreational cannabis products are subject to three types of taxes: a 10.75% state excise tax, a 6.25% sales tax, and Boston’s municipal tax of 3%. Together, these taxes increase the price of retail cannabis by about 20%. Fortunately, medical marijuana purchases are exempt from taxation. Most cannabis-related tax revenues fund the Cannabis Control Commission, but some help economic equity initiatives in Boston as well as public health programs around the state.