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growing marijuana in massachusetts

Keep Kids and Pets Safe

Cannabis Oil Extraction

Growing cannabis plants indoors often requires high-powered lamps, temperature controls, and expanded levels of ventilation which can overload electrical circuits and cause fires. To lower your risk of electrical fires, consult a licensed electrician to ensure you are following all relevant fire codes.

When making concentrates, extracting cannabis oil with flammable materials, such as propane and butane, is illegal. These materials release vapors that can easily trigger explosions. Consider alternative extraction methods.

Responsible Home Cultivation

When making edibles at home, such as cannabis-infused beverages or baked goods, it can be challenging to distribute cannabis evenly throughout a product. This can make it difficult to control potency and dosage of the edible.

For more information on fire safety and cannabis in your home, click here to view a flyer from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.

If you have any marijuana products in your home, be sure to store them away in a locked storage container and out of reach of children and pets.

Visit MoreAboutMJ.org for more information on growing marijuana and making marijuana products at home.

Cannabis-infused Edibles

Lower Risk of Electrical Fires

Growing marijuana in massachusetts

Municipalities are also able to raise millions of dollars in revenues from marijuana businesses — not just from local taxes on the product, but also from what are called “community impact fees.” Though these fees are capped at 3 percent and are supposed to be based on costs that are incurred by the other businesses operating in the area, few municipalities actually charge a reasonably justified fee while most automatically charge the full 3 percent. (Others have managed to charge even more than that.) Even if the fees were somehow related to actual costs — and there’s little evidence that they ever are — no other legal business is treated that way. These kinds of steep costs for businesses to open and operate are not creating a competitive environment in which small businesses can start with an equal footing, and are why the Legislature should pass a measure to better enforce how municipalities calculate these fees.

That’s compounded the unjustified head start that medical marijuana businesses have had in the recreational license approval process, which has ultimately paved the way for the bigger medical companies to dominate the market. So the state has to double down on its social equity program and prioritize licensing for minority applicants.

Workers prepare to open the SEED marijuana store for the day on Nov. 4 in Boston. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

If the state wants to ensure that it protects consumers from predatory business practices and fosters a competitive environment for small businesses, then it has to be more proactive in properly regulating the market.

Much of the industry’s woes are a result of inaction from the Legislature. After the state rewrote the ballot measure that voters passed, lawmakers have not updated the rules and regulations that govern the marijuana economy, in spite of local corruption over licensing and new evidence that shows the state moving toward market domination by big companies rather than a competitive environment. (Though one bill did pass the House, none have reached the governor’s desk since 2017.) If Massachusetts wants to ensure that it protects consumers from predatory business practices, fosters a competitive environment for small businesses, and roots out corruption, then it has to be more proactive in passing regulatory measures that allow the market to grow responsibly.

To start, the state should overhaul its local approval process, which has given cities and towns too much control over which businesses can or can’t open. Not only has this been a recipe for petty corruption — as was the case with the former Fall River mayor who was sentenced to prison for extortion and bribery — but it has also made opening up marijuana businesses a much more expensive endeavor than it has to be. Arbitrary zoning requirements in many locales have dramatically limited the number of places marijuana shops can open, effectively leaving big businesses as the only ones that can afford retail space.

Five years after Massachusetts residents legalized marijuana for recreational use, the state is still struggling to realize the lofty goals of that effort, according to a recent Globe investigation. From the consumer standpoint, legalization has worked just fine: Long lines at dispensaries quickly subsided as more businesses sprouted and soaked up demand; the steep price of legal weed in Massachusetts has been dropping, albeit slowly; and, arguably most important, fewer people — though still disproportionately Black and brown people — are getting unnecessarily tangled up in the criminal justice system for possession.

While the high cost of starting a venture in this industry hinders the ability of small minority-owned businesses to enter the market — a group that was supposed to benefit from the legalization law — that’s not the only reason the market has been difficult to penetrate. As a result of municipalities’ power over the approval process, equity has been, for the most part, left out of the equation. And that’s because, unlike the state, municipalities are not required to consider equity when awarding licenses.

Everything you need to know
about becoming a Registered Qualifying Patient
of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

Find out everything you need to
know about being a Registered Qualifying Patient
or Caregiver with the Massachusetts
Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

Find out what’s legal—and what isn’t—in Massachusetts.

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Caregivers

Please note that all data is self-reported and adjusted for voided transactions.