Marijuana in New England

Half of New England states allow recreational cannabis

Retail pot shops are widespread
in Maine and Massachusetts


Recreational use of marijuana / cannabis is now allowed for adults in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont. (Also, possession is decriminalized – meaning subject only to fines – in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.) So, a visit to New England is a nice opportunity for people over age 21 to enhance their vacation by smoking pot or ingesting cannabis in edible forms.

Cannabis Curious?

Vacation also is a time to try something new and maybe a bit adventurous, right? People who have little or no experience in smoking or ingesting pot may want to try it but not know how to begin. The short answer is to seek guidance from staff members at pot shops. These people are knowledgeable and eager to guide you. Maine and Massachusetts have an abundance of recreational pot shops for customers over age 21. (As of this writing in June 2021, retail sales are not yet open in Vermont.)

Where to smoke?

There are few places to legally smoke it outside one’s own home. You may not smoke marijuana in all the places where smoking tobacco is prohibited, like public facilities, commercial lodgings, restaurants, and other indoor public spaces. You may not smoke pot outdoors or in a car while it is being driven. This leaves a few options, including smoking in a private home or on a private boat, with permission.

One solution: edibles.

Another option is buying the various types of edibles that you may consumer without smoking. Especially if you are new to cannabis use, you must be careful about size of dose when using edibles. The high from edibles comes on much more slowly than when smoking weed, so people may be tempted to take unadvisable second helpings. Get expert advice and follow it when you use edibles.

Your best friend: the Budtender.

Budtender is the term used for expert sales people at pot shops. They are like your concierge to marijuana products and use. Part of their job is to educate you. Never hesitate to ask questions to your budtender about products, delivery systems (smoking, edibles, tinctures), and dosage levels. These people are trained to advise and guide you. Don’t be shy about seeking help or admitting to lack of knowledge when you are working with a budtender.

Glossary and Guidelines:

Cannabis chemicals – The cannabis plant contains hundreds of chemicals compounds:
THC – Creates a feeling or euphoria, and may relieve pain and nausea.
CBD – this non-intoxicating compound will not get you high. For many people, CBD may relieve inflammation and pain.

Strains – There are two dominant strains of marijuana. You should purchase the strain that meets your goals, with help, or course, from your budtender. Two major strains of cannabis are Indica and Sativa.
Indica – tends to be physically sedating and very relaxing. Remember: Indica could send you “in-da-couch”
Sativa – creates invigorating and cerebral effects. Best for socializing, physical adventures, mental or physical projects.

Delivery methods

Smoking pot is traditional and sociable, with the advantage that control is dosage is easy. It is easy to inhale small amounts and wait for the effect to come on, which is usually quick, then to adjust intake. Can be harsh on the throat.

Vaping is easier on the throat and portable vape pens allow discreet intake.

Edibles, such as candies, are a work-around to blowing smoke in the air. It’s very important to manage the dosage, because the effect can come on very slowly, which might encourage people to nibble second helpings way too soon. Start slowly and dose low. The high from edibles is more intense and longer-lasting than with smoking. Ask your budtender for advice on dosage and follow it!

Basic Guidelines:

  • Don’t smoke marijuana in public places (similar to open-container laws for alcohol)
  • Do not drive under the influence of pot (similar to DUI or DWI laws)
  • Don’t drive with an open container of marijuana inside the passenger area (similar to open-container laws for alcohol)
  • Never offer marijuana to minors