Shopping for Cannabis in Massachusetts - The Experience

Massachusetts state law allows adults over age 21 to buy marijuana / cannabis for recreation. Here's what you need to know about when shopping for it in the Bay State!

  • Make sure you have a valid state-issued photo ID with you.
  • You may use only cash or a debit card to pay, not a credit card. Some stores may have an ATM on the property.
  • You may pay as little as $20, or as much as $100 or more. You can find out location, hours, preview products and pricing on your local shop's website.
Cannabis - The Massachusetts Shopping Experience
Cannabis Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: Cannabis/marijuana products have not been analyzed or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using such products, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of Edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of Massachusetts.
  • Please Consume Responsibly.
  • Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.
  • For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children.

Preparation before you head out to the marijuana shop or dispensary is valuable, and that entails much more than simply finding a store. Think about the experience you want to have. Do you want to go to a very, very mellow place? Do you want to get pumped up for (mental or physical) activity, adventure, or – dare we say – partying? Do you need help to finally, finally get a good night’s sleep? Do you want help with minor pain, depression or anxiety?
Do you want to smoke the flower (that is, the actual buds of the plant), or vape, or eat a cannabis infused food, or take a bit of tincture under your tongue? All those marijuana delivery options are available to you.
Having at least a general idea of these answers will go a long way in helping your budtender (that is a pot shop clerk) help you choose the right product.
Also, before you head out for your shopping experience it is good to look at the website, Facebook, and Twitter pages of the cannabis store you plan to visit. Be aware that you may encounter long lines at the front door of the pot shop when you arrive, especially on relaxation days and times, like weekends or evenings.
(The MA Cannabis Control Commission helps you find a store at its Find a Retailer page.

  • If you have checked out the store’s website, and know what you want, in some cases you may order online for pickup when you arrive. Some stores offer home delivery service.
  • Look at the store’s Twitter and Facebook pages – they may flag information like current wait times.
  • In general, it is smart to shop at lull times, avoiding Friday nights and Saturdays to visit a cannabis establishment.

Off to the Market We Go!

You must be age 21 and older and have a government-issued photo ID. Even if you are from another state, you may buy marijuana in Massachusetts if you fulfill the two requirements. However… out-of-state residents may not purchase medical-grade marijuana in Massachusetts.
Have with you enough cash or a debit card. You cannot pay for cannabis with a credit card. Some dispensaries may have an ATM on the property (their websites should tell you this - and there is a processing fee if you use a debit card).
Don’t expect to pop into a store with your child (under age 21). This is not like a trip to the grocery store or even a wine shop or liquor store. People under age 21 may not enter the building.
When you are admitted, you will be directed to a budtender (sales clerk). This person is your best friend for the next 10 minutes or so. Budtenders know the product and the delivery methods. This is the person to whom you present your homework (see above), describing your objectives for your cannabis experience. If the system is working smoothly, your budtender is qualified and eager to take you there.
You can go into the weed shopping experience knowing about marijuana strains, but you don’t need to. In general, the two major strains are indicas and sativas. Indicas (think: in-da-cah) are calming and soothing and relaxation-promoting. Sativas, in contrast, promote stimulation and uplift, both physical and mental. Hybrids, and the name implies, produce a combination effect.
A note on quantities: under Massachusetts law, you may buy up to one ounce of flower, five grams of concentrate, or 20 servings of edibles at a time. Regarding possession, you may have and transport a maximum of these quantities on the street and in public.

  • People are allowed to have up to ten ounces of marijuana at home.
  • When you are transporting weed -- say, in your car -- it must be in a sealed container.
  • As with alcohol, it is against the law to drive while under the influence of cannabis – regardless of the form (smoke, gummies, tincture) by which you ingested it.
  • You may not ingest cannabis in any public place. If you are caught doing so, you face a $100 fine.
  • You may not cross state lines with marijuana in your possession, even if you are passing to or from two states where recreational marijuana is legal. This is federal law.
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