Marijuana in 2022: New Maryland Home Grow Regulations
In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 517, decriminalizing the possession of cannabis paraphernalia and smoking marijuana in public. Despite making leaps and bounds toward legalization, Maryland lawmakers have not yet legalized growing marijuana at home.
But, bills proposed, approved, and placed on the November 2022 ballot seek to amend that law. If passed, Maryland residents may begin growing marijuana safely and legally in their own homes as early as July of 2023. This article breaks down the new bills and what they mean for Maryland residents.
Growing Marijuana at Home in Maryland: Why Do People Want It?
There are many reasons people choose to grow marijuana at home, including the fact that it is legal in Maryland. Medical cannabis is legal in the state, and possession of marijuana is decriminalized. These changes to the law have made people want the opportunity to grow marijuana at home.
Growing marijuana at home is a money-saving endeavor for many people and a hobby for others. Between creating hybrid strains of marijuana or making cannabis-infused oils, many people take joy in the marijuana growth and cultivation process. But, the biggest reason why it’s important to allow people to grow their own medicinal marijuana at home is accessibility.
Many people use medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and other disorders that make trips to the dispensary miserable. Having home growth as an option provides more access to the people who need it the most. That’s why upcoming changes to Maryland laws about marijuana are crucial and almost necessary for residents of the state.
What’s on the November 2022 Ballot?
Some of the biggest changes to marijuana regulations in recent years has been the legalization of medicinal marijuana and the decriminalization of marijuana possession. But, there is more to come this year if House Bill 1 and 837 come to pass.
House Bill 1 proposes an amendment to the Maryland constitution that would legalize cannabis use and possession, a huge revenue-boosting decision for many states.
The subsequent measure, House Bill 837 expands on the rules of recreational cannabis legalization in Maryland. Some highlights of House Bill 837 include:
- Legal residents (aged 21 and up) may purchase and have up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana
- Decriminalizes the possession of marijuana up to 2.5 ounces
- Legalizes home growth of up to 2 plants for legal residents of Maryland
- Legalizes gifting cannabis from legal adult to legal adult
Moreover, the measures will retroactively take effect on those incarcerated due to past laws. If someone is in jail for an offense that the new law would make legal, their record will automatically be expunged.
These measures have garnered enough support from Maryland lawmakers to take a seat on the November 2022 ballot. If they pass, residents can begin growing their own marijuana by July 2023.
2022 Maryland Cannabis Laws: Expect Changes
Remember that the laws don’t go into effect right away. You should know what to expect if voters pass House Bill 1 and House Bill 837 in November. If you plan to grow marijuana at home in Maryland, here are some important questions you should consider.
How Many Plants Can You Grow?
House Bill 837 proposes legalizing marijuana for civil use. It also defines “civil use” and “personal use” in its criminal law article, which clarifies the limits of legalization vs. decriminalization.
Personal use refers to the legalization of certain amounts of marijuana and describes how many plants Maryland residents may grow at home. Under the bill, adults will be able to grow up to two marijuana plants for medicinal purposes and personal use in their homes.
But home growth is not without its own set of marijuana regulations. House Bill 837 states that in addition to only growing two cannabis plants, you must take other precautions for cannabis cultivation. Home growers cannot:
- Place their cannabis plants in a location that’s subject to public views like a front yard or window
- Grow cannabis in a space accessible by a person under 21
- Grow marijuana plants on another person’s property without their consent (e.g. renters cannot grow without the landlord’s permission)
- Cultivate cannabis if they are under 21 years old
- Cultivate more than two cannabis plants in one house
A lot of these stipulations align with those of other states that have legalized marijuana like California and Illinois. If you plan to grow marijuana at your home in Maryland after House Bill 837 goes into effect, you must pay careful attention to these rules. Otherwise, you could face up to 3 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
When Will Maryland Cannabis Laws Change?
There is a specific timeline for the implementation of House Bill 837 if voters make it a law in November. You will not be able to start cultivating marijuana right after it passes. Instead, you can expect to wait until the middle of 2023.
First, cannabis possession will face decriminalization in January of 2023. That means the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana will be downgraded from a criminal offense to a civil offense. From then until July, those caught in possession of marijuana under 2.5 ounces may get fined up to $250.
By July of 2023, only possession of over 1.5 ounces of marijuana will be a civil offense. Anything under that is “personal use” under House Bill 837 and considered legal. That’s also when the personal cultivation of marijuana will become legal under the stipulations provided above.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Maryland
In order to get a medical marijuana card in the state of Maryland, you must first be a resident of the state. You will need to provide proof of residency, as well as a government-issued photo ID.
Once you have these items, you can begin the online application process. The online application will require you to provide basic information about yourself, as well as a physician’s certification that you suffer from a qualifying condition. Once approved, you may purchase medicinal cannabis from any state-approved dispensary.
Apply, Shop, and Save: Your One-Stop Cannabis Shop
For now, growing marijuana at home in Maryland is illegal. But, you can still get the medicinal cannabis you need at Maryland GreenScript. Consider us your one-stop shop for affordable quality cannabis.
You can apply for a medical card, shop, and buy cannabis products, all from the convenience of our user-friendly website. Don’t keep suffering from chronic pain when there’s a better solution. Visit our website and start your medical marijuana card application today!