Massachusetts Cannabis Laws | Compliant Seed to Sale Software

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Massachusetts Cannabis Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

Personal Use

Up to 1 oz No Penalty None $ 0
More than 1 oz (first offense) Misdemeanor 6 months $ 500
More than 1 oz (subsequent offense) Misdemeanor 2 years $ 2,000

With intent to distribute

Less than 50 lbs (first offense) Not Classified 0 – 2 years $ 5,000
Less than 50 lbs (subsequent offense) Not Classified 1 – 2.5 years $ 10,000
50 – less than 100 lbs Felony 1* – 15 years $ 10,000
100 – less than 2000 lbs Felony 2* – 15 years $ 25,000
2000 – less than 10,000 lbs Felony 3.5* – 15 years $ 50,000
10,000 lbs or more Felony 8* – 15 years $ 200,000
Within 300 feet of a school, or within 100 feet of a public park Felony 2* – 15 years $ 10,000
Causing or inducing someone under 18 years to commit offenses Felony 5* – 15 years $ 100,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Cultivation

Up to 6 plants No Penalty None $ 0

Distribution

Less than 50 lbs (first offense) Not Classified 0 – 2 years $ 5,000
Less than 50 lbs (subsequent offense) Not Classified 1 – 2.5 years $ 10,000
50 – less than 100 lbs Felony 1* – 15 years $ 10,000
100 – less than 2000 lbs Felony 2* – 15 years $ 25,000
2000 – less than 10,000 lbs Felony 3.5* – 15 years $ 50,000
10,000 lbs or more Felony 8* – 15 years $ 200,000
Within 300 feet of a school, or within 100 feet of a public park Felony 2* – 15 years $ 10,000
Causing or inducing someone under 18 years to commit offenses Felony 5* – 15 years $ 100,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of up to 5 g No Penalty None $ 0
Possession of 5 g to 1 oz Civil Offense N/A $ 100
Possession of more than 1 oz N/A 1 year $ 1,000
Manufacture or distribution N/A 2.5 – 5 years $ 5,000
Manufacture or distribution to a minor N/A 2 – 15 years $ 25,000
Using a minor to manufacture or distribute N/A 5* – 15 years $ 100,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Paraphernalia

Selling, possessing, or purchasing paraphernalia No Penalty None $ 0
Selling to someone under 18 years of age Felony 3 – 5 years $ 5,000

Forfeiture

Marijuana, vehicles, and money are subject to forfeiture.

Miscellaneous

Conspiracy to commit any marijuana related offense is punishable by up to the maximum punishment.
Possession of 1 oz or less cannot result in the suspension of driving privileges.

Penalty Details

Marijuana is a class D controlled substance under the Massachusetts Controlled Substances Act.

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Possession for Personal Use

An adult may possess up to one ounce of marijuana; up to 5 grams of marijuana may be marijuana concentrate in their home.

Including cultivation (see below), an adult may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana.

An adult who possesses more than one ounce of marijuana or marijuana products must secure the products with a lock.

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Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months. However, first offenders of the controlled substances act will be placed on probation and all official records relating to the conviction will be sealed upon successful completion of probation. Subsequent offenses may result in a fine of $2000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years. Individuals previously convicted of felonies under the controlled substances act who are arrested with over an ounce of marijuana may be subject to a fine of $2000 and/or up to 2 years of imprisonment.

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Possession with Intent to Distribute

For first offenders, possessing less than 50 pounds of marijuana with the intent to manufacture, distribute, dispense or cultivate is punishable by a fine of $500-$5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of $1,000-$10,000 and/or imprisonment of 1-2.5 years.

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Possessing 50 – less than 100 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by a fine of $500-$10000 and imprisonment for 2.5-15 years. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year for this offense.

Possessing 100 – less than 2000 pounds if marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by a fine of $2,500-$25,000 and imprisonment for 2-15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 2 years imprisonment.

Possessing 2,000 – less than 10,000 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000-$50,000 and imprisonment for 3 ½ – 15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 3 ½ years imprisonment.

Possessing 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by a fine of $20,000-$200,000 and imprisonment of 8-15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 8 years of imprisonment for this offense.

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If any of the above offenses are committed within 300 feet of a school and if the violation occurs between 5:00 a.m. and midnight, whether or not in session, or within 100 feet of a public park that offense is punishable by a fine of $1,000-$10,000 and imprisonment for 2 – 15 years. This offense has a mandatory minimum term of 2 years of imprisonment.

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Causing or inducing someone under 18 to commit any of the above offenses is punishable by a fine of $1,000-$100,000 and imprisonment for 5 – 15 years. This offense has a mandatory minimum term of 5 years of imprisonment.

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Cultivation

An adult may grow six marijuana plants at the adult’s primary residence with a limit of a total of twelve plants at the residence.

An adult may not grow marijuana plants where the plants “are visible from a public place.” A violation of this section is punishable as a civil offense with a penalty not to exceed $300 and forfeiture of the marijuana.

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Distribution

For first offenders, selling less than 50 pounds of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $500-$5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 2 years. Subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of $1,000-$10,000 and/or imprisonment for 1 – 2.5 years.

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Selling or cultivating 50 – less than 100 pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable by a fine of $500-$10,000 and imprisonment for 1 – 15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 1 year for this offense.

Selling or cultivating 100 – less than 2000 pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable by a fine of $2,500-$25,000 and imprisonment for 2 – 15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 2 years imprisonment.

Selling or cultivating 2,000 – less than 10,000 pounds of marijuana with is a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000-$50,000 and is punishable by imprisonment for 3 ½ – 15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 3 ½ years imprisonment.

Selling or cultivating 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to distribute is a felony punishable by a fine of $20,000-$200,000 and imprisonment for 8 – 15 years. There is a mandatory minimum term of 8 years imprisonment.

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If any of these offenses are committed within 300 feet of a school and if the violation occurs between 5:00 a.m. and midnight, whether or not in session, or within 100 feet of a public park, that offense is punishable by a fine of $1,000-$10,000 and imprisonment for 2 – 15 years. This offense has a mandatory minimum term of 2 years imprisonment.

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Causing or inducing someone under 18 to commit any of the above offenses is punishable by a fine of $1,000-$100,000 and imprisonment for 5-15 years. This offense has a mandatory minimum term of 5 years of imprisonment.

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Hash & Concentrates

An adult may possess up to five grams of marijuana concentrate.

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Massachusetts statute defines Marihuana as including the resin extracted from the Cannabis plant and any derivatives or compounds thereof. The statute also defines Tetrahydrocannabinol separately as any compound that contains Tetrahydrocannabinol that is not itself Marihuana. The Massachusetts Controlled Substances Schedule classifies Marihuana as a Class D drug whereas Tetrahydrocannabinol as a Class C drug. Case law indicates that Hashish and Concentrates are meant to be prosecuted as Tetrahydrocannabinol, using the penalties for Class C drugs.

Massachusetts defines marijuana products to include concentrates, edible products, beverages, topical products, ointments, oils and tinctures.

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The Massachusetts decriminalization law explicitly reduced penalties for the possession of less than one ounce of either Tetrahydrocannabinols or Marijuana, though it does not modify any other penalties relating to Hashish.

Possession of one ounce or less of hashish is decriminalized and is punishable as a civil offense. If the offender is over the age of 18 they must pay a fine of $100. Offenders under the age of 18 must pay a $100 fine and must attend a drug awareness program. Possession of less than an ounce of hashish cannot result in denial of public financial assistance or the right to a driver’s license.

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Possession of any amount of Hashish greater than one ounce is subject to no more than one year’s imprisonment and a fine of no greater than $1000. Diversionary probation is available for first time offenders.

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Manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense Hashish is punishable by up to five years imprisonment in a state prison or two and one half years in a jail or house of correction, as well as a fine of between $500 – $5000.

Engaging in any of the above conduct when one has at least one prior conviction for a similar drug crime is punishable by up to ten years in a state prison or two and one half years in a jail or house of correction, as well as a fine of between $1,000 – $10,000. This crime is subject to a mandatory minimum of two years imprisonment.

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The manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense Hashish to a minor under eighteen years is punishable by up to fifteen years imprisonment in a state prison or two and one half years in a jail or house of correction, as well as a fine of between $1,000 – $25,000. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of two years imprisonment.

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If a police officer finds a child under seventeen years old in a place where Hashish, or what the officer reasonable believes is Hashish, is present, the police officer may lawfully take the child into protective custody for a period not to exceed four hours.

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Using or inducing a minor to manufacture, dispense, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, or distribute Hashish is punishable by up to fifteen years imprisonment in the state prison and a fine of no more than $100,000. This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

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Paraphernalia

An adult may buy and use marijuana paraphernalia.

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Selling marijuana paraphernalia to someone under 18 years of age is a felony and is punishable by a fine of $1,000-$5,000 and/or 3-5 years of imprisonment.

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Forfeiture

All marijuana is subject to forfeiture, even in amounts under an ounce which is decriminalized in the state.

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  • Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 94C, § 47(a)(1) Web Search

Vehicles are subject to forfeiture if they are used to distribute marijuana or possess marijuana that a person intends to distribute.

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  • Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 94C, § 47(a)(3) Web Search

All money or proceeds that can be traced to a sale of marijuana are subject to forfeiture.

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  • Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 94C, § 47(a)(5) Web Search

Miscellaneous

Conspiracy

Conspiring with another person to commit any marijuana related offense is punishable by up to the maximum punishment for the crime which was the object of the conspiracy.

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Driving Under the Influence

Failure to pass a sobriety test can result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Massachusetts does not test for THC in blood,urine, or hair when deciding if an individual has been driving while intoxicated.

Driver’s License Suspension

Simple possession of one ounce or less of pot cannot result in the suspension of driving privileges.

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CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DRUGGED DRIVING

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

LEGALIZATION

This state has legalized marijuana for personal use.

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. For more information see NORML’s Medical Marijuana section.

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction.

The state legal marijuana laws in this blog may not reflect the most recent legal marijuana state laws. As such, please verify the status of the state legal marijuana laws you are researching with the state legislature before relying on it for your legal needs.

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