Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2017, An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana, updated the Commonwealth’s laws that govern the use of marijuana. The legislation also created a distinction between marijuana and hemp, allowing activities related to hemp to take place under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and subject to the requirements set forth in G.L. c. 128, Sections 116 through 123. [Note: at this time, Sections 116-123 are not yet available on the State legislative website.]
MDAR has released its Interim Policy for its Commercial Industrial Hemp Program, with other programs and policies to follow as they are developed. Documents and information are available on our website at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/hemp-program. Industrial Hemp is classified as “an agricultural commodity.” The MDAR reports that it looks forward to working with municipalities as this new-to-Massachusetts agricultural commodity is introduced.