MA law on barter and trade.


Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure I have read all the documentation on that covers the distribution of cannabis products. The sections on selling and gifting were outlined.
They reworked the gifting part so people couldn't sneak a deal in with something else and gifts have to be genuine gifts without stipulations. You can't tell someone if they buy a $60 lemonade you also get a "gift". A shop owner couldn't gift free clones with a grow tent purchase, he would have to offer free clones to everyone or not at all.

The thing I didn't see any mention of was the barter and trade aspect. "Hey Jimmy I'll give you a zip for that nice pack of tenderloin steaks." or "How much would it take to stain my deck?"

I'm just curious if anyone has any insight on MA law covering this or if people from other states that know of laws covering barter and trade.


Well-Known Member
The statute talks about "giving away or otherwise transferring" cannabis to someone of age "without remuneration" (the summary on the site simply says "transferring without payment or other compensation" [emphasis added]). I would think the legal kosherness of your hypothetical barter/trade would depend on how the state defines remuneration and "other compensation" but a conservative read would almost certainly include both of your hypothetical trades as forms of compensation, i.e. a good of some value is being transferred to you in return for your transfer of cannabis, or a service of some monetary value. That said, I could see one might argue that bartering for a service with someone who does not perform that service for compensation is a form of mutual gifting, mere kind acts between two individuals, but given that you would normally have to pay someone to perform that service for you... I could see that still being taken as a form of compensation for said canna-gift. As long as there's a quid pro quo I would think it would constitute compensation in the eyes of the law. On the other hand, if you were to give your buddy an ounce, and a few months later he gives you some venison from deer he hunted, and there's no connection between the two gifts, that might be different (but I don't think that's what you're suggesting). If a person was of a generous spirit and liked gifting people of age left and right, likely better for that person not to accept anything in return.

It also seems somewhat relevant that Legalmatch notes that bartering and trading must be reported to the tax man.
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