Massachusetts was one of the first states on the east coast to legalize medical marijuana. Then a few years later, in 2016, recreational cannabis passed when the majority of residents voted in favor of Question 4. Although these were monumental feats for the state, nothing changed for industrial hemp flower in Massachusetts until late 2018.
In December of that year, the President passed a revised version of the 2014 Farm Bill, which became the updated 2018 Farm Bill. Under this new federal law, it became legal to grow industrial hemp for commercial use. Also, this law descheduled hemp as an illegal Schedule 1 drug, making it legal for possession and consumption.
At this point, each state could decide whether or not to create an Industrial Hemp Program. Find out what decisions Massachusetts made and what the means for legal hemp flower in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts hemp laws
After the 2018 Farm Bill passed, Massachusetts brought hemp farming to the state. The state’s Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) headed up the Industrial Hemp Program. It was up to them to oversee and regulate this program.
One of its first objectives was to define the term hemp. Here’s the state's definition.
“The plant of the genus cannabis and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 THC concentration that does not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis or per volume or weight of marijuana product or the combined percent of delta-9-THC and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) in any part of the plant of the genus cannabis regardless of moisture content”.
As you can see, one major requirement for hemp crops to remain legal is to contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. This is actually one of the jobs of the MDAR. Before any hemp crops can get harvested, the department must verify the plants have less than the legal limit by performing a specific test.
Besides this, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture is also responsible to review and process license applications. It offers three types of licenses. The first one is for growers, the second for processors, and a third for any individual or business who wants to do both.
To apply, the applicant must complete a form, provide the address and GPS coordinates of the growing or processing location, and provide a criminal history report. Also, the fee to apply is $100 and if approved the cost for the license is $300.
If someone’s interested in selling hemp-derived CBD products, whether as a brick and mortar retail store or online, they’d have to apply for a processor’s license.
Can I grow hemp in Massachusetts?
To legally grow hemp flower in Massachusetts, you need a license. However, the licenses only apply to commercial use. So, growing hemp in your house or outdoor garden for personal use, is not permitted.
In short, you can apply for a license to grow or process hemp for commercial purposes. But, you can’t have your own home grow.
Surprisingly, the law differs for medical cannabis. A Massachusetts resident over the age of 21 can grow up to 6 plants (in one household, and an extra 12 plants for 2 or more adults.
Is CBD flower legal in Massachusetts?
Given the liberal cannabis laws in Massachusetts, it comes as no surprise that CBD flower is legal in Massachusetts. After all, the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component. Therefore, it seems odd that it was ever banned in the first place.
In case you didn’t know, the THC percentage of cannabis plants was the reason (one of the reasons, anyway) that all cannabis plants got classified as Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Many marijuana strains do have high levels of THC, but by nature industrial hemp strains hardly produce any THC.
So, even though hemp got clumped together with marijuana under the definition of cannabis, and we missed out on its benefits of uses for decades, we’re glad to have it back. And the residents of Massachusetts are too.
Can I smoke hemp flower in public?
We agree it’s awesome that hemp flower is legal. But for now, it’s not legal to smoke it in public. The same is true for medical marijuana. You’re welcome to consume in your home or your yard, but not at a public park, near a school, or anywhere there’s a crowd.
The limit for possession of medical cannabis, and for hemp flower, since the two are hardly distinguishable is 1 ounce or 28 grams. And you can have up to 10 ounces at home without having a legal issue.
Where do I buy hemp flower?
Since CBD hemp flower is legal, you can go to a store in your local or surrounding neighborhood. If you don’t find anything you like, take your search to the web. Start by typing in the words “hemp flower dispensary.” This will narrow down your results to CBD companies with a popular and good variety of CBD strains.
Take a look at some of the websites that pop up and read about the company. See what they’re all about. Learn everything you can about the source of its hemp flower. In other words, where and how did the hemp grow?
Hemp that grows on sustainable and organic farms will always be a great option. Also, with the strict regulations and oversight put on hemp farmers in the U.S., choosing a CBD strain that traces back to a U.S. farm is another good criterion to have.
Once you tackle these two points, it’s time to pick the actual strain. A strain is another way to say variety. Think of hemp flower as an apple. You can choose a granny smith fuji, honeycrisp, gala, pink lady, etc. These are names for the different types of apples to choose from.
In the same way, you’ll have many types of CBD strains to choose from such as Hawaiian Haze, Special Sauce, Lifter, Sour Space candy, and others. These are only a few of the most common and well-liked hemp strains available today.
How to choose the right CBD strain?
Great question! With all the options, you’ll have quite a decision to make. To begin, read about the strain under the company’s product description. Or read a blog about CBD strains and their characteristics.
They should include details about the strain’s CBD percentage, it’s aroma (terpene profile), the potential effects, its appearance, and more. After reading the details of about three to four strains, which one stood out the most? Which one really caught your attention?
If you liked them all, then search for a company online that sells a CBD hemp flower sampler pack. But, if you want to start with one or two specific strains, for now, buy just 1 gram. It’s a small investment, but it’s enough to smoke several times. By the time you finish up the gram, you’ll know whether or not to buy that strain again.
Once you do find your favorite strains, you can buy them in larger quantities to save you some serious cash. For instance, buying 3.5 grams of premium hemp flower could cost you $7/gram. Yet, when you buy 14 grams of the same CBD flower, the cost could get down to $4/per gram.
Hemp flower uses
The most common way to use hemp flower is to smoke it. Some people like to grind up their organic CBD nugs and roll it up into a joint. While others put the ground up buds into a dry herb vaporizer. A vaporizer offers richer flavors, while a joint is more traditional and nostalgic.
In addition to smoking craft hemp flower, consumers use it to make homemade CBD oil. This CBD oil can then be consumed under the tongue, in a sublingual fashion, or added to various recipes. For instance, you could swap out the oil or butter in your baking recipe and replace it with the CBD oil.
Not only that, but you can make a DIY skincare product, and include some CBD oil into the formula. Even more, if you have a bathtub at home, find a CBD bath bomb recipe on YouTube. After making it, drop it into your bathtub to enhance the relaxation factor.
There are a lot of uses for hemp flower, and a ton of great ideas floating around. Find one or a few ways that work best for you.
Hemp flower is legal to grow, process, sell, and smoke in Massachusetts. But to grow, process and sell it, you must apply for a license first with the MDAR.
And to smoke it, you must avoid doing so in public places. Besides these few nuances, the state of Massachusetts is about as hemp and weed-friend as they come.