Everything you need to know about legal cannabis in Maryland
Recreational cannabis is now officially legal in the Old Line State. Maryland voters approved a measure to legalize adult-use marijuana last November; medical cannabis has been legal in the state since 2014.
Adults in Maryland over the age of 21 can possess up to 1.5 ounces of flower, 12 grams of concentrates, and/or 750 milligrams of infused edibles. Possession of up to 2.5 ounces is also decriminalized, although not wholly legal. Penalties may include a $250 fine; those caught with over 2.5 ounces may face misdemeanor charges.
Officials from the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) have awarded 94 medical marijuana dispensaries for dual licensure, which enables them to sell to both medical and adult-use customers. They have also awarded licenses to 38 cultivators and manufacturers to help meet the demand for adult-use products.
The state has made a number of grants available to help support small and social equity businesses with initial licensure, as well as medical operators wishing to convert their licenses.
Home grow is permitted in Maryland, with a strict limit of two plants. Gifting of 1.5 ounces of cannabis between adults is also allowed, as long as no money is exchanged.
Public use of cannabis is prohibited under the new law. While consumption lounges are a part of the bill, the plant may only be smoked outside (hopefully, these lounges will have plenty of tools to combat the elements).
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Expungement of prior low-level cannabis offenses is also a part of Maryland’s cannabis legislation. However, it is not automatic; instead, eligible individuals with prior convictions must apply in order to have their records amended. Those still incarcerated for cannabis may request a resentencing.
Furthermore, people with possession cases (and no other convictions) will not show up in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database. This may help ease the burden on job and housing seekers with records while expungements are processed.
Maryland Governor Wes Moore touted the state’s commitment to restorative justice in a recent speech to the Cannabis Regulators Association.
“Cannabis policy has been used as a cudgel to oppress, jail, and discriminate against our fellow citizens, especially people of color—and the war on drugs didn’t just fail, it made us weaker as a nation,” Governor Moore said.
Maryland will be the 22nd state in the US to fully legalize cannabis, with Minnesota on deck. Adult-use marijuana laws take effect in the North Star state on August 1st