It has been one year since Massachusetts residents voted to legalize marijuana, and the first recreational pot shops are still not set to open until July 2018.
For now, the legal status of marijuana in Massachusetts remains complicated. Here are 10 things you need to know until state regulators work out all the kinks in the new pot retail system.
1. It is still illegal to sell marijuana.
Last December it became legal to possess a small amount of pot, but unless you have a retail license, you better not try to sell it!
2. You can, however, give marijuana as a “gift”.
You may give away up to an ounce of pot legally as long as no compensation is received.
3. When retail sales begin, marijuana will be subject to up to 20% in combined state and local taxes.
4. Individual cities and towns may still ban marijuana sales.
The municipal council or board of selectmen can ban retail sales in cities and towns where the majority of voters opposed the 2016 ballot question to legalize marijuana. If the majority of voters favored legalization, the only way to ban or limit sales in that community is through a popular referendum.
5. Adults 21 and older can legally possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana on their person.
If the marijuana is in concentrated form, you may carry no more than 5 grams. You may have heard that you can have up to 10 ounces – this is only if it is locked and secured in your own home.
6. If you can’t smoke a cigarette, you can’t smoke pot.
According to state law, if a location bans tobacco, marijuana use is also prohibited. Employers also have the right to ban marijuana use at the workplace at their discretion.
7. Using marijuana in your own home is…complicated.
While you may smoke pot on your own property, if you are a renter, your landlord may ban you from smoking or growing pot in your lease agreement. However, landlords cannot stop tenants from consuming smoke-free marijuana products, such as edibles.
8. State law allows adults to grow their own marijuana at home.
Adults over 21 may grow up to 6 plants each on their property with a limit of 12 plants per household. The plants cannot be visible from a public place and must be secured with a lock.
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9. People processing their homegrown pot at home to make an extract cannot legally use a liquid or gas, other than alcohol, that has a flashpoint below 100 degrees.
10. Smoking & Driving is against the law.
The laws regarding marijuana and driving are still much the same – it is illegal to smoke pot while driving, or operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana – including edibles. Much like alcohol, it is also against the law to have an open container of marijuana in your car, unless it’s in the trunk.
H/T to Metro West Daily News