It’s been a long time coming, but recreational weed finally became legal in Maryland on July 1. The new Maryland marijuana laws make it legal for people to possess and cultivate marijuana. Existing medical cannabis dispensaries opened their doors to recreational customers for the first time.
So what Maryland marijuana laws do you need to know about? Read on to find out.
New Maryland Marijuana Laws
People 21 and over may possess:
- Up to 1.5 grams of cannabis or
- Up to 12 grams of concentrated cannabis or
- Cannabis products containing up to 750 mg of delta-9 THC or
- Up to 2 cannabis plants
Adults may grow up to 2 cannabis plants if they are secured, out of public view, and out of reach of people under 21
People can share cannabis with friends, but unlicensed individuals may not sell cannabis products. The amount shared must not exceed the amount approved for personal use.
An unlicensed individual that sells or attempts to sell cannabis to another individual will be charged with a criminal misdemeanor which is punishable by up to three years in prison.
People are not permitted to smoke marijuana in public places. If caught, you may be fined $50 for a first offense. It is also illegal for drivers to smoke in a vehicle.
Those previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes may have those crimes expunged from their records. However, expungement is not automatic. It must be requested after the sentence is completed.
It is still illegal to carry marijuana over state lines. If you do not live in Maryland, you may legally purchase marijuana from a state dispensary, but you cannot travel outside of the state with it.
Can Maryland Employers Test for Cannabis?
Yes, Maryland employers can still test for cannabis. They can also take action against employees who test positive for cannabis, even if they have a medical marijuana card.
Odor Based Searches
A separate law went into effect stating that law enforcement “may not initiate a stop or search of a person, a motor vehicle, or a vessel” based on the smell of cannabis, the possession of cannabis, or the presence of money near cannabis without evidence of intent to distribute.
A third law adds language to an existing statute stating that childhood neglect “does not include the use of cannabis by any parent or individual who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of the child” with certain exceptions.
Maryland Marijuana Laws FAQs
Where Can I Purchase Recreational Marijuana in Maryland?
There is a full list of dispensaries that sell recreational marijuana on the Maryland government website. 95 dispensaries are listed. Four of these are RISE dispensaries which give back a portion of their profits to the community.
What is the Tax on Cannabis Products in Maryland?
Cannabis products sold in Maryland are subject to a 9% sales tax which is equal to the sales tax charged on alcohol. State regulators estimate that recreational marijuana sales could generate up to $600 million in sales during the first year of legalization.
Who Oversees and Enforces Maryland Marijuana Laws?
Maryland marijuana laws regarding cannabis businesses are overseen by the Maryland Cannabis Administration. State and local law enforcement agencies will enforce laws regarding possession and usage.
How Will Police Stop People from Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Maryland?
Montgomery County police began training officers last year on how to spot marijuana behind the wheel. Officials say they are making it a top priority to keep the roadways safe.
What Should I Bring with Me to Buy Marijuana in Maryland?
Adults wishing to purchase weed in Maryland should bring their ID to show proof of age. They should also bring cash or a debit card as federal prohibition does not allow credit card companies to process cannabis sales. Some dispensaries have ATMs to make purchases more convenient.
Can I Get Cannabis Delivery in Maryland?
Cannabis delivery will not be permitted in Maryland right away. However, micro-dispensaries in the state will be allowed to deliver starting Jan. 1, 2024.
Will Things Change for Medical Marijuana Patients?
Medical marijuana patients can still register for medical cards and obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. The new Maryland marijuana laws also require dispensaries to offer hours for medical users only. Patients are tax-exempt.
The History of the Current Maryland Marijuana Laws
The new Maryland marijuana laws are a long time coming. The introduction of the legislation was a result of lawmakers who are members of the House Cannabis Referendum and Legislation Workgroup which was formed by Democratic Speaker Adrienne Jones in 2021.
“Today recreational adult cannabis use is legal in Maryland. We have done our due diligence. We have compiled the best recreational cannabis practices learned from other states with lessons from the medical cannabis industry to create an equitable implementation framework,” said Jones.
Several meetings were held following Maryland voters’ approval of weed legalization in last year’s election. Lawmakers spent the following months creating Maryland marijuana laws to set guidelines for possession, cultivation, and other policies.
Part of the legislation went into effect earlier this year. Laws relaxed in terms of marijuana possession with 1.5 ounces being considered a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine and a $250 fine for possession of 1.5 to 2.5 ounces.
Medical marijuana became legal in the state in 2012. Decriminalization laws went into effect in 2014 making possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana a civil crime punishable by fines of $100 to $500.