Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Cannabis Law: Introduction

This guide serves as a starting point for legal research regarding cannabis law in the United States, with particular attention to Massachusetts.

Election Updates

NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) offers an overview of changes in Marijuana law at the state level, following the 2020 election. 

Smart and Safe ArizonaMontanaNew Jersey CanSouth Dakota Yes on AMississippi Medical Marijuana

Accessed Nov. 13, 2020.

Quick Links

Scholar One Search Library catalog

Law Library Homepage

Law Research Databases 

Map of the Law Library

Lexis Access restrictions apply

Westlaw Access restrictions apply

Bloomberg Law Access restrictions apply

Background Reading

Cannabis and its derivatives

Cannabis is the plant genus containing cannabinoids: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis includes both hemp and marijuana. Hemp is the only legal form of cannabis under federal law, but marijuana use is legal to different extents across the United States and territories. Cannabis derived products containing more than 0.3% THC are classified as marijuana and therefore are illegal under federal law, per the 2018 Farm Bill. 

For more information, access the following secondary sources:

50 State Survey of Marijuana Laws

Denotes to varying levels of legal medical marijuana use in the United States and territories

Marijuana Use by State

From the National Conference of State Legislatures, accessed last 4 Nov. 2020.

Cannabis Law Blogs

Senior Law Librarian: Reference Services

Law Research Help's picture
Law Research Help
Info Desk - 3rd floor Knowles
(617) 373-3332

Chat with us!