10 Ounces = 60-Day Supply, And Other Rules For Medical Pot In Mass.

medical marijuana sign

(Photo: Laurie Avocado via Wikimedia Commons)

“Medical marijuana” became legal in Massachusetts on January 1, but the first draft of rules for its use are just out today.

Here are some highlights from the Department of Public Health. The full summary is here:

• Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs): DPH requires each non-profit MMTC organization to operate their own cultivation and dispensing facilities.

• Defining a 60-Day Supply: DPH recommends allowing up to 10 ounces for a personal 60-day supply.

• Debilitating Medical Condition: DPH does not further define which medical conditions qualify patients for medicinal use of marijuana, instead leaving that important decision to physicians and their patients.

Many critics of the law had urged DPH to narrow the definition of “debilitating” conditions for which patients could use marijuana. But DPH interim Commissioner, Dr. Lauren Smith, says creating a list of conditions would surely leave something out. She says she’s confident that the focus will be on “those patients who have serious or significant conditions and not on people who are looking for a way to obtain marijuana purely for recreational use.”

“So far so good, I’m very pleased with the progress they’ve made,” says Eric McCoy of Boston who uses marijuana daily to relieve cramps and other symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Some patients are objecting to the state’s proposed limit of 10 oz. every 60 days, but McCoy says he uses less than that.

“It’s [the law] really going to make life a lot easier for people like me who have MS and other chronic diseases,” says McCoy.

The ballot question Massachusetts voters approved in November says the state must allow up to 35 marijuana dispensaries, what the regulations call Marijuana Treatment Centers, this year. These regulations create the application, licensing and enforcement rules.

Anne Johnson, who directs a new trade group called the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Association, says she’s concerned about a requirement that dispensaries must have $500,000 in escrow in order to apply for a license.

“We don’t want there to be barriers to entry,” says Johnson, “so we’re looking at that and how we might be able to tweak some things, but I’d say they’ve [DPH] been very thoughtful about a lot of the issues and we think that’s going to continue.”

That $500,000 requirement is one of many hurdles marijuana dispensaries will have to clear before they can open. The state rules affirm that cities and towns can use local zoning or siting laws to limit where dispensaries will locate, and that anyone applying to open a dispensary will have to demonstrate local support.

Johnson says it’s possible that some dispensaries will open in Massachusetts this year, but Massachusetts Municipal Association director Geoff Beckwith says it may be several years before many communities are comfortable with this law.

“This is a brave new world,” adds Beckwith. “This is an activity that has been illegal, there have been no regulations on it and so there will be concern and trepidation as we move forward to make sure communitites can set commonsense rules that regulate this, in a way that protects the community interest.

Cities and towns that don’t want marijuana sold in their community can and likely will put up many barriers, says Wayne Dennison, a Boston lawyer who specializes in land use litigation at Brown Rudnick.

Although 63% of the people in Massachusetts may be in favor of medical marijuana,” continues Dennison, “I would suspect a much smaller percentage of those people would be in favor of medical marijuana in their back yard.”

Anyone can propose changes to the state’s draft regulations through April 20th. The final rules are expected on April 24th. DPH still has to set up a database for registering patients and determine the fees they and the dispensaries that sell marijuana will have to pay. But sometime this summer or fall, expect to see the first applications for new medical marijuana treatment centers in Massachusetts.

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  • Scott Levine

    10 oz of pot for 60 days? Wow….I don’t know anybody that smokes anywhere near that much, and all of my friends are musicians. Some of them are reggae musicians too. On average 1/8 oz takes me about 4 months to smoke and usually goes bad before I’m done. So their 2 month supply would be my…..28 year supply. Yeah, you could buy more pot then I’ve smoked in my entire life as a 2 month supply. Who came up with that dosage?

  • Weezie Jefferson

    Look, If you smoke or eat 10 oz in a week just go get some more. There is no limit. Just limited to 10 oz in you possession . Or enough to get everyone in your Vegan cooking class high every night of the week. Just buy more. Ron

  • todd52

    10 oz. is a 60 day supply?! To who, Cheech & Chong?!

    • AntonioD

      People with cancer and people who make it into food.

      It’s also lower grade

  • Reaesonable?

    This just part of a windy kinda illogical pathc to marijuana a regulated, taxable and legal s substance. It’s always ugly to see the sausage made.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrtaylor001 John Taylor

    the recommendations should be followed to the letter, as i have seen ,no recommendations are followed usually, they have their hands under the table

  • Steven_Epstein

    Except for punishing the selling or gifting of it to children without parental consent, the growing of Cannabis (the plant) and selling Marijuana (the leaves, flowers and oils derived for the leaves and flowers) should be as free as the growing and selling of any other herb. That is, weighed on scales certified accurate by the Sealer of Weights and Measures, subject to the warranty of merchantability in accordance with other existing laws applicable to garden centers, florists, farm-stands, grocery stores.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    Although 63% of the people in Massachusetts may be in favor of medical marijuana,” continues Dennison, “I would suspect a much smaller percentage of those people would be in favor of medical marijuana in their back yard.”
    mass is our backyard,we voted for it, get over it

    • MassCentral420

      Put it in my front yard,, heck, Better than having a liquor store or bar nearby where, on a warm summer’s day, you can smell the scent of urine in the parking lots.

      Yes, I prefer “stoners” to drunks any day,,

      Never seen a fight break out at a marijuana party,,,

  • MassCentral420

    I had a prohibitionist ask me why I “NEEDED” Marijuana,,,

    I said I don’t NEED marijuana,,, just something to amuse my mind and calm my thoughts.

    He said, well why don’t you just get high on life.

    In said I do and that marijuana is part of life, just like sex, it is part of life.

    I mean, imagine if all there was in sex was just one position,, would that be “fun”.

    The prohibitionist looked at me all puzzled,,, There’s more than one position???

    Life,, enjoy all of it!

  • geegracy

    Why can’t marijuana be dispensed in pharmacies like other prescription drugs? Creating dispensaries will continue the stigma associated with using marijuana and create opportunities for crime and abuse.

    • MassCentral420

      Because the Fed’s wont let them. Believe me, the alcohol and big pharma are pulling their hair out at any marijuana being legal.

      They KNOW people will shy away from alcohol BIG time, as I have since smoking Marijuana.

      My wife is no longer taking Oxycontin OR ANY OTHER NARCOTIC since she has been smoking Marijuana.

      She has had 2 major back surgeries and a hip replacement with another hip replacement and a knee in the future.

      Google Marijuana use for heroin addiction,,,, Rather than getting these heroin addicts of rugs, they simply addict them to methadone which big pharma makes money off of.

      Marijuana will stop the addiction,, but then, where is the long term profit there???

      You don’t make money curing a disease,,, you make money treating it.

  • http://twitter.com/JunkGlass Monroe Truss

    When I did smoke I must have been a light weight because an ounce would last me a month or more unless I had help. Whoa. 10 oz’s 60 days.? There must be a share clause. I need to open up a Pizza Hut delivery service in Old Mass.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      did you have cancer?

    • katieklag

      Good idea! I think that would be a great idea, at least until the dispensaries are opened.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.fromtexas Rick FromTexas

    Ten ounces seems kind of “high” to me.

  • fire115

    4.7 grams a day or 5 well stuffed 20s, damn

  • Concerned Citizen

    I’m pretty sure I got through four years of high school on less then 10 ounces. That sounds like a generous amount of weed for a sixty day supply. Of course I don’t have a medical need so I guess I can’t really relate to what’s needed for that purpose.

  • Guest

    2000 a month extra income from the doctor if
    ya sell it,,, if its cronic even more

    • dez

      2000$ for 5 oz. ? You are either doing some fine police drug-money math or getting ripped off…(and its not even chronic?)
      limit sounds reasonable imho

      • AntonioD

        ~$200/oz is standard in MA

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      how much can you sell an oxycontin script for? how much do you think the rip off dispensaries will charge?

  • ChickPeaA

    10 ounces per month of medical cannabis (20% THC) is not enough because there is not enough for the user to share with his friends.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      nice compassion for the sick

      • todd52

        It’s a joke. Take it as such!

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          oh i perfer my jokes to be funny. maybe it would be funny if i smoked 10 oz of pot. now thats funny

  • oplease

    Whatever; as long as folks have what they need. Nothing to see here folks, keep it moving.

  • Patrick Byrne

    Ummm…10 ozs of pot for 60 days is a lot (whole lot) foe even a heavy smoker like myself. Let it go.

    • MassCentral420

      Yea,, but not enough if your just extracting the oils.

    • http://www.facebook.com/j0shuamartinez Joshua Martinez

      10 ounces is 280 grams..
      280/60 = 4.6 grams a day

      so i guess yeah.. to the season vet.. thats what they roll up in a dutch lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Bulcroft/100000809181240 Steven Bulcroft

    How silly! How does the government come up with these limits? Has there been any research into dosage etc..? No, because the government has not allowed any research other then their own narrowly defined studies and even those say that this substance is actually quite positive but have not opinion on dosage and limits.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Forrester/100003344291631 Brad Forrester

      Google Irving Rosenfeld or Elvy Musikka. The federal government sends them @ 10 ounces a month to treat their conditions. Anyone making Rick Simpson Oil or other concentrates to treat cancers need nearly a pound a month. 10 OZ every 60 days will not be enough for the most seriously ill.

      • http://www.facebook.com/weedbay Weedbay Guy

        The doctors can raise your limit, like in Cali. The feds send out 300 grams a month, nearly a pound of low grade.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad-Forrester/100003344291631 Brad Forrester

      Compiled from government research.


      • MassCentral420

        Thanks so much,,, That’s awesome

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Check-Engine/100000146770052 Check Engine

    Why,Is there a over dose limit?

    • unemployed pig

      In the documented history of all mankind, there’s never been a recorded incident of a marijuana overdose of anybody. Skies the limit

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.krupica Tom Krupica

    sounds very generous