The compromise bill makes no changes to M.G.L. c. 94G, s.7, approved by the voters in November 2016, which gives Massachusetts citizens over 21 the freedom to grow up to 6 marijuana plants for personal use (not more than 12 plants on a premises with multiple adult occupants).
The compromise bill provides a new protection for home cultivation of under 12 plants by persons under 21, making it a civil offense, where as the ballot question left it a criminal offense. The new language appears below.
Notwithstanding chapter 94C, a person less than 21 years of age, except a qualifying patient holding a valid registration card for the medical use of marijuana, who cultivates not more than 12 marijuana plants shall be punished by a civil penalty of not more than $100 and shall complete a drug awareness program established pursuant to section 32M of chapter 94C. If that person is less than 18 years of age, the parent or legal guardian of that person shall be notified in accordance with section 32N of said chapter 94C. If a person is less than 17 years of age at the time of the offense and fails to complete a drug awareness program not later than 1 year after the offense, that person may be subject to delinquency proceedings.
The compromise bill does require the Cannabis Control Commission to “promulgate advisory guidelines and best practices on the cultivating of marijuana within a person’s primary residence”, but these are not enforceable regulations; they are just helpful advice. The placement of this provision outside the regulatory powers of the commission serves to clarify that the commission has no power to regulate home cultivation.