Adult Use (Recreational Cannabis) in Massachusetts
The State of Massachusetts made history in November of 2016 when the citizens voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use, also known as Adult Use. Since then, the Cannabis Control Commission has been licensing dispensaries for the sale and distribution of cannabis products.
It’s taken some time, but Adult Use has begun in Massachusetts with the first recreational sale in December 2018.
What Does “Adult Use” Mean?
Adult Use is another term for recreational cannabis. In states where recreational cannabis is legal, users must be 21 or older to legally purchase or consume cannabis.
This term is important in the cannabis community, as it dispels the alarmist myth that dispensaries target children. Referring to recreational cannabis as “Adult Use” makes it perfectly clear that cannabis is intended for adults who can take responsibility for their own decisions.
As opposed to medical cannabis, Adult Use doesn’t require a recommendation from a physician. Facilities designated for Adult Use require government-issued photo identification proving the customer is 21 or older, just like the sale of alcohol.
A customer will not be allowed to enter an Adult Use facility under the age of 21, with the exception of those 18 or older with an active medical registration card issued by the DPH.
What Are the Limits of Adult Use?
Being over the age of 21 in Massachusetts doesn’t mean you can buy as much cannabis as you want. The limit for Adult Use purchases in Massachusetts is one ounce of flower, or five grams of concentrate.
In the words of the Cannabis Control Commission, “A Marijuana Retailer may not sell more than one ounce of marijuana or five grams of marijuana concentrate to a consumer per transaction.” Selling products containing nicotine or alcohol are also prohibited at Adult Use facilities.
Like any retail establishment, a dispensary has the right to refuse service to anyone. If the Adult Use facility thinks a customer is a risk to themselves or the public, the retailer may refuse the sale. Additionally, if you are using cannabis, it is unlawful to drive. Do not operate a car or heavy machinery after consuming cannabis products.
What Are the Requirements for Adult Use Retailers?
On top of the 21 and up age restrictions, Adult Use retailers are subject to specific regulations. These requirements vary from state to state, but in Massachusetts, Adult Use retailers are required to follow these regulations:
- No selling products containing nicotine or alcohol
- Government-issued photo ID must be inspected before customers are allowed to enter the facility
- No selling more than five grams of concentrate at a time
- No selling more than one ounce of flower at a time
- Retailers must use a point-of-sale system that is approved by the Cannabis Control Commission
- Retailers are prohibited from manipulating or altering sales data
- Retailers must physically separate Adult Use products Medical Use products
- Retailers need to make cannabis education materials available
- Edibles must be properly labeled, and should maintain sanitary standards
- Products must be properly tested by Independent Testing Laboratories
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