State Law

(This section identifies the sources of  state law that applies to all aspects of legal commerce in marijuana. The substance is discussed in other sections of this website.) 

In November of 2016, the voters approved initiative Question 4, An Act to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, thereby replacing long-standing marijuana prohibition laws with a comprehensive new law that accomplished two aims: (1) it liberated individual citizens from the threat of criminal prosecution for having or growing marijuana for personal use, and (2) it set up a system of regulation and taxation for marijuana produced and distributed for commercial purposes. Question 4, as enacted by the voters, appears in the state statues as a session law,Chapter 334 of the Acts of 2016. 

In late December, 2016, the legislature tweaked the new law to extend all the deadlines by six months, giving them time to consider further changes, and to enable municipalities to regulate cannabis in agricultural land, as to which any agricultural use formerly was beyond the authority of local regulators.

On July 28, 2017, the governor signed the bill making further, comprehensive, changes to the law, An Act To Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana, Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017. Chapter 55 contains 82 sections, a number of which revise General Laws, Chapter 94G, the nonmedical legalization law. Another section of c. 55 repeals the state's former medical marijuana law (St. 2012, c. 369) as of January 1, 2019, and replaces it with a new medical law, Chapter 94I of the  General Laws.

The Cannabis Control Commission is required to issue final regulations by March 15, 2018. For all practical purposes, the regulations carry the force of law. In late December, 2017, the CCC issued draft regulations, on which they will take public comment during February, 2018.