Chapter 369 of the Session Laws of the 2014 Acts is hereby amended by striking out section 4 and inserting in place thereof the following section:
Section 4. Protection From State Prosecution and Penalties for Qualifying Patients and Personal Caregivers
As the use of medical marijuana must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication, any person meeting the requirements under this law shall not be penalized under Massachusetts law in any manner for such actions, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to:
(a) Denial of license or other certification, or civil or other penalty or disciplinary action by a professional licensing board or any agency or division of the Commonwealth
(b) Refusal to rent housing or grant a lease by a landlord solely for being a registered patient or personal caregiver.
(c) Refusal of enrollment or discrimination in any way or form by a school or university solely for being a registered patient or personal caregiver.
(d) Discrimination against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment solely for being a registered patient or personal caregiver.
(e) Any action or proceeding by a child welfare agency or in a juvenile or family court against a custodial or non-custodial parent, grandparent, pregnant woman, legal guardian, or other person charged with the well-being of a child, taken solely or primarily in consideration of a person's patient or registered caregiver status or the presence of cannabinoid components or metabolites in a person's bodily fluids.
A qualifying patient or a personal caregiver shall not be arrested, prosecuted provided he or she:
(a) Possesses no more marijuana than is necessary for the patient's personal, medical use, not exceeding the amount necessary for a sixty-day supply; and
(b) Presents his or her registration card to any law enforcement official who questions the patient or caregiver regarding use of marijuana.
Chapter 369 of the Session Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 11 and inserting in place thereof the following section:
Section 11. Hardship Cultivation Registrations
With the goal of providing affordable access to marijuana to all qualifying patients, the department shall issue a cultivation registration to a qualifying patient whose access to a medical treatment center is limited by verified financial hardship, a physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation, or the lack of a treatment center within a reasonable distance of the patient's residence. The Department may deny a registration based on the provision of false information by the applicant. Cultivation registration shall allow the patient or the patient's personal caregiver to cultivate a reasonable number of plants, sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of usable marijuana, and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked facility.
(a) Regardless of and in addition to any definition or standard of verified financial hardship promulgated by the department, (1) any qualifying patient who shows that a strain or preparation of marijuana they have benefited from or would likely benefit from using is not readily available from the nearest two medical marijuana treatment centers or in their county of residence; or (2) who shows that costs to cultivate their requirements for marijuana, excluding hardware, would be 20 per cent less than the equivalent purchased from a medical marijuana treatment center at prices offered to that patient; or (3) who shows that their typical round-trip travel time to the nearest medical marijuana treatment center exceeds one hour; (4) who shows that the nearest medical marijuana treatment center cannot or will not provide enough medical marijuana to meet the patient's needs shall be issued a hardship cultivation registration
(b) A qualifying patient may name no more than two registered personal caregivers.
(c) A personal caregiver may cultivate for no more than five registered, qualifying patients.
(d) A personal caregiver or patient must submit notification upon ending a caregiver/patient relationship within 72 hours, or three working days.
(e) No more than two registered caregivers may be registered at any one residence.
(f) A personal caregiver may not receive payment or other compensation for services rendered as a personal caregiver other than reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in the provision of services as a caregiver including reasonable compensation for the personal caregiver's time.
(g) The department may choose to inspect any cultivation location registered under this section with notice and at a time mutually agreed-upon with the registration card holder.
(h) Patients or caregivers with valid cultivation registrations may purchase seeds, seedlings or rooted or un-rooted cuttings from a medical marijuana treatment center and may share or barter seeds, seedlings or rooted or un-rooted cuttings with those patients or caregivers.
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