On May 3rd, Governor Wes Moore officially signed Maryland recreational marijuana into law, making it the 20th state to do so. “The criminalization of marijuana harmed low-income communities and communities of color in a profound way,” Governor Moore said, “we want to make sure that the legalization of marijuana lifts those communities now in a profound way.”
As Maryland makes the transition from medical to adult-use cannabis, it's essential to understand the rules and regulations that will go into effect at the beginning of July.
Starting July 1st, 2023, adults 21 and older will be able to purchase recreational marijuana in Maryland from licensed dispensaries with a valid government ID.
You may purchase and possess the following:
It’s essential to keep in mind there are still penalties for exceeding the legally allowed amounts. Possession of more than the legal allowance is punishable by civil or criminal penalties, depending on the amount.
Possession over the legal allowance is considered “Civil Use."
Penalty: A fine of up to $250
Penalties for exceeding “Civil Use” possession limits:
Penalty: Criminal misdemeanor
Yes, with certain limitations. Adults 21+ can grow up to two cannabis plants at home. However, the plants must be in a private and secure location, out of view of the public, and they must not be accessible by unauthorized individuals or anyone under the age of 21.
Regardless of how many adults live at a residence, no more than two cannabis plants can be grown per residence. Additionally, plants may only be grown on property owned by the grower or with the consent of the owner.
Smoking marijuana in public, including in a motor vehicle, is prohibited in Maryland. Smoking in public is a civil offense, punishable by a $250 fine. Further offenses are punishable by a fine of up to $500.
There is an exception for licensed-site consumption. Recreational users will be allowed to smoke or vape outdoors. Vaping and smoking cannabis indoors is prohibited statewide.
Maryland recreational cannabis products will be subject to a 9% sales tax, the same as alcohol sales in the state. A certain portion of the tax revenue generated by legal sales will go to a Community Reinvestment and Repair fund that will reinvest in communities impacted by the war on drugs.
No, you cannot cross state lines while in possession of cannabis or cannabis products, even to another state where it is legal. It’s important to understand that while recreational use is legal at the state level, it is still illegal under federal law, which prohibits traveling across state lines with cannabis/cannabis products.
Medical patients can continue to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries, and individuals 18 years or older can still register for the program. However, the new laws establish certain accommodations to ensure that medical cardholders continue to have access to their medication.
So, while the new recreational laws don’t have a direct impact on the medical cannabis program, applying for or keeping your medical card is still advantageous.
With the historic date fast approaching, knowing how the new law will impact you is important for responsible purchase, possession, and consumption. Whether you’re a medical patient or a soon-to-be recreational user, stay up to date on the latest regulations in your area - and always consume responsibly!