Over the past few years, progressive legislation has paved the way toward the legalization of medical marijuana, even adult-use recreational cannabis, in some states. This opened up various economic opportunities, especially in states where marijuana has been fully legalized. With only 11 states that legalized recreational marijuana, plus Washington, DC, many people are looking to try out legal marijuana in these 11 states and districts.
In fact, a recent study revealed that 29% of all active leisure travelers are looking to participate in cannabis tourism. This number also represents 18% of all Americans, which means that this portion of the population is interested in doing marijuana-related activities during their vacations. Some of the experiences these people want to do include trying cannabinoid-infused edibles and drinkables, CBD wellness sessions, and sampling marijuana products in a safe space.
Out of this segment, 57% reported that they are likely to participate in such activities in places where recreational marijuana is legal. Around 25% of these people have in fact traveled to a state where the plant is legal and have had their own cannabis tourism experience.
With such a significant number of people participating in cannabis tourism, you are not alone in planning to travel to a destination to participate in its cannabis culture. Those who are traveling to Massachusetts for a vacation can definitely fit in a marijuana experience or two. Here’s what you need to know about the cannabis culture in MA:
A Brief Look into MA Marijuana Laws
Before you head to the state, it is always important to do some research regarding its laws surrounding marijuana. Possession for personal use can be legal in small amounts. For carrying marijuana outside, no penalty, incarceration, and fines apply for up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Likewise, no penalty, incarceration, and fine apply up to 10 ounces of marijuana in the home.
However, remember that possessing more than 1 ounce outside the home can lead to a misdemeanor, 6 months jail time, and a $500 fine for the first offense, while subsequent offenses can result in a misdemeanor, 2 years jail time, and a $2,000 fine. You can also carry up to 5 grams of hash and concentrates without penalties. Residents of Massachusetts can cultivate up to 6 plants without penalty, as well.
For possession with intent to distribute, the penalty can range from not classified to a felony, 0 to 15 years jail time and a fine of $5,000 to $200,000, depending on the gravity of the offense.
If you are visiting during the virus pandemic, you will be glad to know that dispensaries are allowed to operate even amidst the crisis. Because of public health measures in place, cannabis stores in MA offer various ways of purchasing products including on-site visits, home deliveries, and curbside pickups. So, as a tourist, you do not have to worry about getting access to these products.
Best Dispensaries to Check out in MA
Tourists whose primary goal is to try out various marijuana products would definitely need to take a look at the best dispensaries in Massachusetts. To start, you might want to check out these stores that garnered the highest scores on Google Map local ratings:
Gaining 4.9 stars on Google Map, this dispensary produces its own products, which means that it has its own growing, processing and retail facilities. It offers a wide variety of products including edibles, flowers, vapes, extracts, and concentrates. This dispensary offers curbside pickups.
When you check out their menu, you will find their edibles catalog interesting, especially as they have chocolate bars, chews and jellies infused with THC. However, these items are listed as ‘Coming Soon’ on their website, so better check with them before your visit to get edibles.
If you are interested in getting buds, you will be happy to know that flowers and pre-rolls are available at their location. According to their site, they carry 253 flower strains which vary from sativas, indicas and hybrids. Some of the strains they sell include Bahama Mama, CrescendO, Joker’s Web and Mint Cake.
Lastly, various products infused with concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes. This includes waxes, hashes, shatters, sauces, kiefs, crumbles, rosins, and batters.
Offering curbside pickups and delivery, this shop is a medical marijuana shop that earned 4.6 stars. This store is dedicated to providing medicinal marijuana products to patients while offering an environment-friendly alternative. They use biodegradable or recyclable packaging to minimize their environmental impact.
Massachusetts allows MMJ cardholders from other states to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries within the state provided that you have your legal ID and MMJ card. If you are interested in purchasing from Rev Clinics, you have a variety of options ranging from flowers, pre-rolls, concentrates, kiefs, topicals, and edibles.
The exciting thing about this shop is that aside from their regular strains, they offer guest strains when available. You just need to get in touch with them to know what and how much these guest strains are.
NETA Northampton, Brookline
Another 4.6-star place dedicated to medical marijuana patients and adult-use consumers, this dispensary is run by professionals, philanthropists and leaders in the industry. To provide consumers with guaranteed top-notch items, the company itself produces its own products through its cultivation facility. Keep in mind that during the pandemic, walk-in visits are not allowed.
You can have your products delivered or picked up at the store. Your choices include a range of flowers, pre-rolls, concentrates, vapes, edibles, topicals and accessories.
Cannabis Events and Activities You Can Attend in 2020
Aside from trying out marijuana products in Massachusetts, you might be itching to actively support and participate in the state’s marijuana scene. If this is one of your goals, then you should check out these events and activities:
Boston Freedom Rally 2020
The Boston Freedom Rally has been held annually in the city for decades now. In fact, MassCann, the organization that handles this event, and its participants just celebrated the 30th BFR last year. For this year, though, you can settle with the 2020 Virtual BFR, which will be held on September 19. It will be livestreamed to the organization’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.
If you are curious as to what to expect when you attend the BFR, you will be glad to know that this Rally primarily aims to educate individuals about the plant, from its history to its benefits. Last year, vendors, businesses, and speakers were present, making the event an exciting one.
Open House – Cannabis Investing & Wine Tasting
For the business-minded individual, this Open House is definitely up your alley. This event organized by Dunloe Capital lets gathers people looking to place their capital in early and mid-stage marijuana investments. You will learn about the risks and rewards involved in such investments while enjoying an intricately curated wine tasting selection.
Take note that registrations for this event is currently closed and it has been postponed, but who knows? More slots could open up and you could attend this event should one registrant backs out. Once registration opens up, you want to make sure that you grab your slot, so keep an eye on this event.
The 6th Annual New England Cannabis Convention
NECANN’s annual event has been around since 2014. For its Boston leg, nearby residents and interested participants can attend this event on December 10 to 12. The main goal of this activity is to hold a resource hub for the local cannabis industry, where entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, educators, advocates, consumers and patients can interact and network.
To be held at the Hynes Convention Center, this conference will definitely be worth your while as you will have the chance to meet various people in the MA cannabis community. Moreover, the three-day affair will feature a variety of workshops tackling different topics such as the production of products, applying infusions to your meditations and trainings. Just remember that these workshops can only be accessed with additional tickets.
Puff, Pass and Paint
Those with an artistic streak will definitely enjoy creating while consuming the plant. The Puff, Pass and Paint class gives you an opportunity to learn how to make art through painting while smoking flowers, eating edibles or vaping oils. In fact, marijuana intake is encouraged but not required. Keep in mind that the class has a Bring Your Own Cannabis policy so make sure to pack your favorite products before heading to the site. Keep in mind that a fee applies inclusive of art supplies.
Aside from this exciting creative paint class, the company responsible for it is also planning to launch a Puff, Pass, and Pottery class. As the name suggests, you will be able to make beautiful crockery and other similar items during the session. Stay tuned for its launch and available dates.
Tips for Navigating the Cannabis Culture in MA
Once you get to Massachusetts, you may be eager to take a look at your options. However, you need to make sure that you are fully prepared to immerse yourself in the state’s local cannabis culture. Here are some of the best tips to ensuring that you navigate the landscape smoothly:
Do Your Research Before the Trip
Any trip must be planned with ample research and preparation. This way, you can minimize issues and hiccups. Even a free soul will agree that you need to find the right information that can help you find your way through the local culture in a respectful and appropriate, yet still fun and exciting manner.
Your research should include marijuana laws, etiquettes when consuming products in public and private safe spaces, and the overall environment in the community. You might also want to look up various events and activities related to the plant available in the state so that you can get straight to the point of your vacation.
Find a Cannabis-Friendly Lodging
Knowing what you will do and expect once you get to your destination is one thing but getting there is another. Yes, you have a lot of transportation options, but what about your accommodations? As a cannabis tourist or a visitor with intentions to partake in cannabis-related experiences, you want to make sure that you stay in an accommodation that accepts such activities.
You will be glad to know that there are bed and breakfast places that are marijuana-friendly. You do not have to resort to shady lodgings because these places are as legit as your regular hotel room. When you choose the right option, you can have not only a comfy bed complete with WiFi, cable TV and beautiful scenery.
Explore the Thriving Community
Participating in events is definitely a great way to explore the community. However, there are certain spaces where you can mingle with other patients and consumers such as cafes and lounges. This offers a more social experience, allowing you to make friends while you experience the local cannabis culture.
Services such as Loopr can tour you around Boston using a privately chartered vehicle in which you can consume the plant while roaming the city. However, Loopr’s services are not available as of the moment because of the pandemic.
Observe Safety Measures
Because of the current public health issue, it is important to remember that most dispensaries impose measures that can help minimize risks. This includes encouraging contactless payments and implementing social or physical distancing. These stores may also require you to wear masks in compliance with local health department orders.
When you find a dispensary that allows walk-ins or in-store purchases, make sure to comply with their measures for your own and others’ safety.
The Bottom Line
Cannabis tourism can be one of the best experiences you can have during a vacation. With Massachusetts thriving and lively community, you are bound to meet potential friends, experience the colorful local cannabis culture and explore what the community has to offer. You may even find the best opportunity for investments if that is what you are looking for. With this Massachusetts cannabis culture guide, you are on your way to fulfilling your cannabis tourism dream!