On November 11th, 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts answered Ballot Question 3, “An Initiative Petition for a Law for Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana” (Chapter 369) with an overwhelming 63.3% affirmative vote. This decision by the voters of Massachusetts effectively made the Massachusetts the 18th State in The Union (and the District of Columbia) to decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal uses in qualifying patients.

The “Implementation of An Act for Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana” (105 CMR 725.000) became law on January 1st, 2013. Statutes with regard to this implementation appear in sections 725.000 to 725.800. This piece of regulatory specifications include everything from definitions to physician prescribing rules and law.

Security and Operational Requirements appear in 105 CMR 725.105 under the heading “Operational Requirements for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries.” Part 725.105 part (4) specifically reflects that “storage of marijuana” shall be “in compliance with 105 CMR 725.110.” This specific piece of regulation is developed to establish compliance with regard to safes and vaults to be used in the storage of medicinal marijuana and marijuana infused products (MIPs).

With safe and vault storage concerned, 105 CMR 725.110 (A) (5-6) specifically states that dispensaries and other storage facilities must;

725.110 (A)

(5) Store all finished marijuana in a secure, locked safe or vault and in such a manner as to prevent diversion, theft and loss;

(6) Keep all safes, vaults, and other equipment or areas used for the production, cultivation, harvesting, processing, or storage of marijuana and MIPs securely locked and protected from entry, except for the actual time required to remove or replace marijuana.

Massachusetts adheres to Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) law with regard to storage and containment of medicinal marijuana. DEA regulations under Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 1301 specify that, in the instance of small amounts of the drug permit, a safe or steel cabinet may be used. The safe or cabinet must provide;

  • 30 man -minutes against surreptitious entry
  • 10 man-minutes against forced entry
  • 20 man-hours against lock manipulation
  • 20 man-hours against radiological techniques

The Code also states that if a safe or steel cabinet weighs less than 750 lbs., it must be bolted or cemented to the floor in such a way that it cannot be removed. Depending on the quantity and type of the substance(s) being stored, the safe or cabinet must be equipped with an alarm system which, upon attempted break-in, shall transmit a signal directly to a central protection company or State police agency which has a legal duty to respond, or a 24-hour control station operated by the registrant, or such other protection.

DEA Approved safes and vaults for the storage of controlled substances can be outfitted with alarm system wiring, door contacts, S&G Group 1R locks to meet requirements and have a TL-15 or Class 5 GSA Approved Container security rating.