Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash
Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
People all over the country are becoming more and more interested in the benefits of cannabinoids, including cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-intoxicating compound that is found in both marijuana and industrial hemp. While it does not provide the high that THC does, there is anecdotal evidence that it can provide many other benefits. Many people use CBD products to help with everything from chronic pain to depression, anxiety and insomnia.
But, before you try out any remedy, it’s a good idea to make sure that it is legal and available in your state. Is CBD legal in Massachusetts? This is what we’ve been able to find out.
Is CBD oil legal in Massachusetts?
CBD’s legality in Massachusetts is complicated, to say the least. Massachusetts has both legal recreational and medical marijuana. Because of this, anyone over the age of 21 can purchase cannabis-based products, including cannabis-based CBD. Cannabis-based CBD products are also legally available to those who have a medical marijuana card.
Hemp-based CBD is also technically legal. However, there are several restrictions on hemp-based CBD in the state that render the product almost completely illegal. It is illegal to sell edible hemp-based CBD products. That means that hemp-based CBD gummies, edible tinctures, and oils meant to be consumed are all against the law. It is also illegal to claim that CBD products have any therapeutic benefit. Since many CBD products available in Massachusetts make health claims, these are technically against the law.
However, at the time of this writing, the state legislature is working to make CBD laws conform both with the actions of retailers who sell CBD products and with the policies in other states.
What are the current CBD laws in Massachusetts?
At the current time, you can legally purchase cannabis-based CBD products if you are an adult over the age of 21. You can also buy cannabis-based CBD if you have a medical ID card in the state.
CBD products that make no medical claims and are not intended for ingestion can legally be purchased in Massachusetts. Laws are under consideration that would allow for CBD edibles to be sold in the state.
This would bring hemp-based CBD products into line with other, more liberal, cannabis laws in the state.
In 2008, Massachusetts first began liberalizing cannabis laws. The voters passed a ballot initiative that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. Under the Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative, possession of less than an ounce was punishable by a $100 fine.
Four years later, 63% of Massachusetts voters approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative. Under the law, individuals with conditions that included cancer, glaucoma and others could get a medical marijuana registration card. The law also allowed for 35 state-licensed dispensaries to operate in the state.
Massachusetts removed most of the remaining barriers to legal marijuana use in 2016, when voters in the state passed a ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana. Individuals could possess up to one ounce at a time. Households are permitted to grow up to six plants, and store up to 10 ounces of marijuana in the home.
As Massachusetts worked on its cannabis laws, there was also a movement to permit the legal cultivation and sale of hemp products in the state. In 2011, the state legislature considered H.2758, which would permit and regulate the cultivation of industrial hemp in Massachusetts. The bill, unfortunately, died in committee.
Similar bills failed to pass in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
However, in 2018, Congress passed a federal Farm Bill that included provisions for the legal cultivation and sale of industrial hemp. This bill reclassified hemp from a Schedule 1 narcotic to an agricultural commodity. It also permitted states to create their own laws governing the cultivation of hemp within the state.
Under the MA Commercial Hemp Policy, licensed growers and processors can work with hemp products in the state. There are three licenses available: one for growers, one for processors, and one that allows both growing and processing. Processors must work only with hemp grown in Massachusetts. All hemp grown in the state is tested for THC content. In accordance with state and federal law, industrial hemp must contain less than .3% THC.
At the current time Massachusetts says they are waiting for guidance on how hemp grown in the state can be legally transported over state lines. This means that, for now, all hemp products sold in Massachusetts must legally be grown there. Additionally, Massachusetts-grown hemp can’t legally be sold out of state.
Massachusetts also aligns their laws with the guidance of the FDA. Because of this, certain hemp products can be legally sold for consumption in the state. These include hemp seed oil, hemp seed protein and hulled hemp seeds. However, at the current time, CBD can’t be sold for consumption.
Can I purchase CBD in Massachusetts?
Despite the legal limitations, CBD products are widely available for sale in Massachusetts. Individuals can purchase products that include CBD oil, CBD tinctures, gummies, lotions, capsules and balms. These products are available at a range of outlets, including specialized boutiques, head shops, drug stores, health food stores and convenience stores. Authorities in Massachusetts have told multiple news outlets that they are unlikely to arrest shop owners for CBD sales or to arrest individuals for buying them.
You can also have CBD products shipped to your home in Massachusetts. Many people choose to buy CBD online, as they can often find a wider array of products available and can sometimes find lower prices. Many people also choose to buy CBD online because they are able to find out more about the certification process that sellers use.