The Best Legal Cannabis Laws in the Land
It wasn’t a landslide victory by any measure. But on election day, November 8, 2016, just over 53 percent of voters in Massachusetts said “Yes” to Question 4. And that “Yes” was a vote approve the legalization recreational cannabis for adults 21 and over. But when does marijuana become officially legal in Massachusetts?
Well, folks in Massachusetts won’t have to wait long for legal weed to become a reality. But before finding out when legalization goes into effect, there’s something you should know. Massachusetts is about to have the best possession laws in the entire country. And advocates of legalization say that’s a good thing because it could become a model for other states in the region.
When Marijuana Is Officially Legal in Massachusetts
- Adults can possess, use, purchase, process, or manufacture up to 1 ounce of marijuana. But only 5 grams of that ounce can be a marijuana concentrate like BHO or shatter.
- In a primary residence, it is legal to have up to 10 ounces of marijuana in addition to any cannabis produced from legal marijuana plants.
- A primary residence can also grow and process up to 6 marijuana plants per person, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.
That last part is critical because it means that people can possess as much marijuana as they can grow. So long, that is, that they keep it at home. Altogether, the new law allows for possessing some serious volume. In fact, Massachusetts’ 10-ounce maximum bests the long-time leader, Oregon. Oregon allows up to 8 ounces.
Getting A Head Start on 2017
So now that you know Massachusetts just voted to give itself the highest possession limits in the country, how long will you have to wait to make a legal weed purchase there?
Taking a look at the language of the Question 4 initiative, Section 12 states that “This act shall take effect on December 15, 2016.” That gives the industry a chance to get its wheels spinning before the new year. Remember, it takes some time for the details of legalization to sort out. Rules have to be written and permit applied for and approved. Harvests have to happen, and businesses need licenses. So it may be a few months before folks are buying cannabis in Mass.
However, that delay gives opponents to the vote a chance to make their voices heard. Critics are already calling on Massachusetts lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and modify the law. Cannabis reform advocates are also mobilizing. They are calling on citizens and other supports to contact their representative in government to encourage them to support leaving the law intact.
A Cannabis Revolution on the East Coast
Massachusetts wasn’t the only state that legalized recreational cannabis on election day. Maine also legalized recreational marijuana, but state officials are preparing to recount the votes. For Massachusetts, the economic impact could be significant. Geographically, the state is in an ideal location. Such expansive legalization could trigger a cannabis revolution on the east coast, with Massachusetts, a potential industry leader. More than 6 million people live in Mass. alone. Legalization could create a number of jobs.