By: Yasmin Tayag
Thanks to voters who checked “yes” for recreational marijuana legalization on this year’s election ballot, gift-giving during the holidays is about to get a lot more dank. But just because recreational marijuana is legal in a state doesn’t necessarily mean you can just give it away willy nilly. Make sure your holiday good cheer doesn’t come with a side of incarceration by using this handy guide to cannabis gift giving, organized by state.
Under Colorado’s “personal use” law, it’s legal for adults over 21 to give up to 1 ounce of marijuana to another adult that’s also over the age of 21, but it’s definitely not okay to give it to minors. Keep in mind that there’s a maximum amount of personal-use weed anyone can have at one time — that’s 1 ounce — so don’t go giving your well-stocked friend any more, lest they incur the inevitable legal charges and fines.
The laws in Massachusetts are almost identical to those of Colorado, except the legal amount of pot any person is allowed to have depends on where they are. Adults 21 and over are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of weed outside of their homes. Any amount over 1 ounce and less than 2 ounces will get you a $100 civil fine, and any amount over 2 ounces will be considered a criminal offense. Inside the home, however, it’s legal for 21+ adults to have up to 10 ounces of pot.
As the Boston Globe pointed out, however, it’s important to make sure the person you’re giving a gift to doesn’t think they have to give you something in return: “‘Gifting” pot and then receiving payment later, or reciprocal gifts of pot and items of value: illegal. Selling outside the regulated market: illegal,” it reports.
In Nevada, adults 21 and over can give away no more than one ounce, and it’ll be legal for adults to possess 1 ounce of cannabis, or one-eighth of an ounce of cannabis concentrate — but only after January 1, which is when the new law, voted in on November 8, goes into effect.
The passage of the controversial Prop 64 made the use of recreational marijuana legal, but until the state starts handing out licenses for selling recreational weed legally on January 1, 2018, getting your hands on it pretty much requires that your generous medical marijuana-using friends are willing to give some away. If you are one of these people, you are allowed to give away only 1 ounce of dry weed or less than 8 grams of concentrate, and, as in other states, it has to be very clearly defined as a gift. Swapping services or other products for it can get you in a lot of trouble.
Gift-givers will be able to be extra generous in Maine, where individual adults over 21 will be able to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of recreational marijuana— as soon as legalization takes effect. (This is the same amount medical marijuana users are currently allowed to possess.) The exact date, unfortunately, is up in the air: A recent recount of the votes for recreational marijuana legalization has slowed down the process; it all depends on Maine Governor Paul LePage making a proclamation that the election results are valid.
It’s been legal to give away up to one ounce of marijuana in Alaska since February 2015. As in other states, the legal limit for personal possession is also 1 ounce.
Ditto Alaska and Oregon, though the legal limit here is 2 ounces.