In Massachusetts, cannabis has been legal for recreational purposes since December 2016, although the first retail license for the same was granted in November 2018. As of March 2019, not many recreational dispensaries have opened in the state; the future, though, looks promising.
Here are a few things that you should know about Cannabis in Massachusetts:
History of Legalization
Following the passing of Chapter 369 of Acts of 2012, Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize “Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana”. However, the journey to adopt the reform wasn’t easy as the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance appealed to the state supreme court that wording on the ballot is changed, which eventually did happen.
Chapter 369, however, did not take recreational users into account. Thus, to do the needful, the act was amended again in 2016, which converted already ‘decriminalized’ cannabis to ‘fully legal’.
The medical cannabis program in Massachusetts
In order to qualify for the medical program in the state, a person needs to be at least 18 years of age, with a valid MA address and ID proof, and diagnosed with a condition/disease from the following list:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Seizures or muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
However, obtaining a medical marijuana card on your own can sometimes be an uphill task. Therefore, if you are in Massachusetts, you can always seek help from Veriheal, a network of state-certified doctors and dispensaries. Once you have talked and explained your concern to a doctor through Veriheal, you will be given a temporary medical number. The next step is to visit the Massachusetts Department of Health website, where you’ll be prompted to enter your medical card number and pay the $50 application fee. The card should arrive at your house within 2-3 weeks of your online application. Until then, don’t panic, as you can show your temporary card at the dispensaries to get your medicines.
The recreational user dilemma
Since not all dispensaries have retail licenses, getting hold of recreational marijuana is difficult for many people. As more retail shops are popping up with time, this problem should be a thing of the past anytime soon.