Maryland Marijuana Laws 2023: Important Updates You Need to Know
As of March 2023, 10% of Marylanders currently use cannabis. And with recreational cannabis becoming officially legal on July 1st, this percentage is sure to rise.
As more people begin to take part in legitimate cannabis consumption, it is important to understand Maryland marijuana laws and specific regulations.
Start by reading this guide to the soon-to-be legal cannabis legislation in Maryland.
When Will Recreational Cannabis Be Legal in Maryland?
On November 8, 2022, 62.7% of Marylanders voted to legalize recreational cannabis use. However, recreational cannabis laws without a medical condition go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Before this date, fines for cannabis possession still exist. For personal use, up to 1.5 ounces of bud or 12 ounces of cannabis concentrate will cost you up to $100 in penalties. Anything over 1.5 once and up to 2.5 ounces of bud and between 12 and 20 grams of concentrate leads to a civil defense that comes with a maximum $250 penalty.
This also limits THC levels to 750 mg per cannabis product. If you have more than 2.5 ounces, you may face a misdemeanor charge.
The state removes the penalties for personal use starting July 1st.
What is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational?
Medical marijuana became legal in 2014 for Maryland residents. This legislation requires anyone who wants to consume cannabis legally to get approved by a doctor to obtain a medical marijuana card.
To qualify for a Maryland medical marijuana card, you need to verify that you have a chronic illness or pain, which includes ailments like migraines, seizures, and PTSD.
Once you get your medical card, you can visit a medical marijuana dispensary and speak with a consultant. The dispensary consultant assesses your condition to recommend the right strain and cannabis product for you.
What are the Possession and Ownership Limits?
Once recreational marijuana becomes legal on July 1st, there will be new regulations to follow. Personal possession of cannabis allows up to 1.5 ounces of bud, 12 ounces of concentrate, two plants, and products with no more than 750 mg of THC.
Civil possession of cannabis still includes the $250 fine and possibly misdemeanor charges for possession of over 2.5 ounces of bud, 20 grams of concentrate, and products with more than 750 mg of THC.
Can I Grow Plants?
The Maryland marijuana bill allows you to grow up to two cannabis plants per household for personal use. When growing your plants, they need to be in a private area that is out of the view of the public. You also need to keep them away from people who are under 21 years old.
Cannabis cultivation must be done on your own property. Or if you rent, then you need permission from your landlord or property owner to grow your plants.
Can I Sell Cannabis?
You would need a license to open a dispensary to sell cannabis to anyone. If you sell cannabis, then you could face a misdemeanor that has a sentence of up to 3 years in jail or up to $5,000 in fines.
However, you can give your friend(s) small amounts of cannabis if you don’t go over the personal possession limit. No money can be exchanged for cannabis. Otherwise, you could be charged with intent to distribute it.
Is Public Smoking Legal?
There are no public areas where smoking cannabis is legal. The new July 1st law includes a civil defense penalty of $50 for smoking in public for the first offense. Repeated offenses could lead to as much as $150 in fees.
You can also not smoke or drive while under the influence of cannabis. If you do so, you could receive a DUI and be charged up to $1,000 for the first offense and possibly have your license suspended.
How Can I Buy Cannabis?
Cannabis products can be bought at a nearby dispensary. You don’t need a medical marijuana card once recreational cannabis becomes legal. However, you do need to show an ID to prove that you are 21 years or older.
There are many types of cannabis products at dispensaries, including:
- Buds of various strains
- Concentrate like oil, wax, crumble, and shatter
- Topical Lotions and Balms
- Edibles like Gummies
You will also find a variety of potencies that range in THC levels. Some dispensaries may offer CBD products as well that contain less than .3% of THC.
Will Past Cannabis Crimes Be Expunged?
Residents who were convicted of a crime related to the possession of cannabis can file for an expungement after July 1st. This option is only available after the sentence is carried out.
Maryland Judiciary Court must also remove all records of cannabis-related possession convictions from its public records.
If a person is still serving a sentence, then they can request resentencing to remove the cannabis sentence length. Courts are required to accept resentencing requests and release the person if they have no other non-related cannabis charges.
Does this Change Workplace Policies?
While cannabis will become legal for personal use on July 1st, it doesn’t address workplace drug policies.
The federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, and employees may also maintain their views and policies on cannabis. This means that you need to comply with workplace regulations regarding being under the influence of cannabis while at work.
Drug tests may also continue as before in some businesses to ensure cannabis is not consumed before or during work hours.
Maryland Marijuana Laws Are Helping People in Pain
Maryland marijuana laws will now allow anyone over 21 to use cannabis. This means more people will be able to treat ailments of pain and discomfort that may not have been covered under medicinal regulations.
To help you understand how to use cannabis to promote your well-being, you need a professional with both medical and cannabis knowledge.
Schedule an appointment at Maryland GreenScript to get expert medical marijuana treatment advice.