In 2016, Massachusetts voted to legalize marijuana, opening the door for dispensaries across the state. Every year, the Massachusetts government implements more laws and restrictions that change what it means to visit a dispensary. Major overhauls and reforms have occurred as recently as 2022, including a new Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
With new laws to keep up with every year, it’s important to know how you can legally enter a dispensary to purchase marijuana. Keep reading to understand the essential laws you need to know and the best tips before heading to a marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts.
Can You Enter a Dispensary at 18?
In Massachusetts, it is currently illegal to allow 18-year-olds to enter a dispensary. There are actually no states in America that allow 18-year-olds to enter a dispensary. The federal law stipulates that only those 21 years of age or older may be allowed to enter a dispensary.
Individuals under the age of 21 are not allowed to enter a dispensary facility even when accompanied by an adult. Most facilities have lounge areas outside of the main store where people who are under 21 are allowed to wait.
Otherwise, individuals who are under the age of 21 are not allowed on the premises of a dispensary and must wait in the car or outside the entrance doors.
Massachusetts Dispensary Rules and Regulations
The laws in Massachusetts are strict regarding obtaining marijuana from dispensaries. Only those who are 21 or older are allowed to legally purchase marijuana. Those persons must also have a government-issued ID with them that validates their age and identification.
Purchasers in Massachusetts do not have to be a resident of the state in order to buy from a dispensary, but they will need to show proof of age with a valid ID.
There are limits on how much marijuana an individual can purchase in Massachusetts. Adults can possess up to 1 ounce, or 28 grams, of marijuana at any given time. For concentrates and edibles, the limit is 5 grams when outside of your home.
There are also restrictions on where you can consume marijuana in Massachusetts. It is illegal to consume marijuana in any public space.
What to Bring to a Dispensary
You’ll need a government-issued ID before entering a dispensary like Harbor House Collective. A guard at the door will check all IDs and, in some cases, have to unlock the door to the dispensary before you may enter.
Most dispensaries are not allowed to open traditional banking accounts because federal laws still consider marijuana an illegal drug. This means that dispensaries deal mostly in cash. You should bring enough cash to cover your purchase, as well as any taxes or fees associated with the transaction.
Tips Before Going to a Dispensary
Here are a few tips that will help you shop more efficiently and get you the best product available.
Shop Online First
Most dispensaries have an online website with a menu you can browse ahead of time. Take the time to look through the options so you know what to look for before you get there. It can be overwhelming and stressful to have a budtender asking you what you want if you haven’t even looked yet.
Know What You Need
Different marijuana strains have different effects. Some are more energizing, some make you sleepy, some help your body relax, and others are good for creativity. Be sure to know what kind of effect you’re looking for before heading to the dispensary so you don’t waste time asking about each individual strain.
Know Your Experience Level
You’ll find cannabis, shatter, wax, edibles, and other products at the dispensary. If you’re a first-timer, start with something basic like cannabis or an edible. Shatter and wax can be more potent since they have a higher THC concentration and they require more equipment. Start slow and work your way up to more complex processes.
Entering a Massachusetts Dispensary
You won’t be able to enter a dispensary if you are under the age of 21 due to federal laws. Anyone over the age of 21 needs to have a valid ID and be ready to pay with cash or a debit card. As long as you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be ready for your first visit instead of feeling stressed and underprepared.