Welcome to our article on the current marijuana laws and regulations in Maryland. If you’re wondering “is marijuana legal in Maryland?” the answer is yes, but only for medical use. Maryland has been slowly moving towards cannabis legalization, but currently, recreational use is not allowed in the state.
In this section, we’ll provide you with a general overview of the marijuana laws and regulations in Maryland. We’ll also cover the penalties associated with marijuana possession, sale, and cultivation. If you’re considering using marijuana in Maryland, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations. So, let’s dive in!
Maryland Marijuana Legalization History
Maryland’s journey towards marijuana legalization has been a long and slow one. The state initially decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2014, with possession of up to 10 grams punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that the state legalized medical marijuana for qualifying patients.
Following the legalization of medical marijuana, Maryland continued to loosen its marijuana laws. In 2019, the state passed a bill allowing patients to use medical marijuana for any condition that a healthcare provider determined would benefit from its use.
“The state initially decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2014, with possession of up to 10 grams punishable by a civil fine of up to $100.”
Despite these changes, however, recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Maryland. Attempts to legalize recreational marijuana have been ongoing, with several bills introduced in the state legislature over the past few years. However, as of now, none of these bills have been passed.
In addition to legalizing medical marijuana, Maryland has also been working to regulate the industry. In 2018, the state awarded licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana to companies throughout the state.
Overall, while Maryland’s marijuana laws have become more permissive in recent years, the state still has a way to go before it fully legalizes marijuana for all uses.
Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws
If you live in Maryland and suffer from a qualifying medical condition, you may be eligible to use medical marijuana as a treatment option. Maryland’s medical marijuana program began in 2016, and has since expanded to include a variety of qualifying conditions, such as cancer, glaucoma, and chronic pain.
To be eligible for medical marijuana use in Maryland, patients must obtain a certification from a licensed physician. Once certified, patients can register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and obtain a medical marijuana card.
Medical marijuana can be obtained from licensed dispensaries throughout the state. Patients are limited to a 30-day supply of marijuana at a time and are not allowed to grow their own marijuana for medical use.
The state of Maryland strictly regulates the production and distribution of medical marijuana. Licensed cultivators, processors, and dispensaries go through a rigorous application and inspection process before receiving approval to operate. This ensures that medical marijuana products are safe, consistent, and free from contaminants.
It is important to note that while medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, it is still illegal under federal law. This means that medical marijuana users in Maryland are not protected from federal prosecution.
Qualifying Medical Conditions in Maryland
|Cachexia||Wasting syndrome associated with chronic diseases, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS.|
|Glaucoma||A condition that causes increased pressure in the eye, which can lead to vision loss.|
|Seizures||Abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which can cause convulsions or loss of consciousness.|
|Severe nausea||Feeling of sickness or discomfort in the stomach, often associated with chemotherapy or radiation treatments.|
|Chronic pain||Persistent pain that lasts longer than six months and is often associated with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.|
Recreational Marijuana Laws in Maryland
While medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, recreational use of the drug is still illegal. Possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is considered a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100 for first-time offenders. Possession of more than 10 grams is considered a criminal offense, with penalties ranging from up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for possession of up to 50 pounds of marijuana, to up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana.
In Maryland, it is illegal to sell or distribute marijuana for recreational use. The penalties for doing so depend on the amount of marijuana involved, with the maximum penalty being up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for distributing more than 50 pounds of marijuana. Cultivation of marijuana for recreational use is also illegal, with penalties ranging from up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for growing fewer than 10 plants, to up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for growing more than 50 plants.
Efforts to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Maryland
There have been several efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Maryland. In 2019, a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess and grow a limited amount of marijuana for personal use. The bill did not pass, but supporters of marijuana legalization continue to push for change in the state.
Some argue that legalizing recreational marijuana would provide economic benefits to the state, including increased tax revenue and job growth. Others cite the potential health and safety risks associated with marijuana use as reasons to maintain current laws and regulations.
Maryland Marijuana Possession Laws
In Maryland, possession of marijuana is illegal unless it is for medical purposes and the individual has a valid medical marijuana card. Possession of any amount of marijuana for recreational use can result in penalties, including fines and possible imprisonment.
The penalties for marijuana possession in Maryland vary based on the amount in possession:
|Amount||Possible Charges||Possible Penalties|
|Less than 10 grams||Civil offense (fine only)||Up to $100 fine|
|10 grams to less than 50 pounds||Misdemeanor offense||Up to 1 year imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine|
|50 pounds or more||Felony offense||Up to 5 years imprisonment and/or $100,000 fine|
In addition to the possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia is also illegal in Maryland.
It is important to note that recent changes have been made to Maryland’s marijuana possession laws. In May 2021, Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation that decriminalized the possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana for individuals who are on parole or probation. The legislation also eliminates the possibility of incarceration for individuals who violate parole or probation by using medical marijuana.
It is always important to stay up-to-date on the current marijuana laws and regulations in Maryland to avoid any legal issues.
Maryland Marijuana Cultivation Laws
The cultivation of marijuana in Maryland is regulated by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). The Commission oversees the licensing of growers, processors, and dispensaries for medical marijuana purposes.
In order to obtain a license to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, applicants must meet several criteria, including submitting a detailed business plan and undergoing a background check. The MMCC also requires that cultivation facilities meet specific security and safety standards in order to prevent unauthorized access and ensure the safety of employees.
It is important to note that cultivation of marijuana for personal use, even in small amounts, is illegal in Maryland and can result in criminal charges. Possession of any amount of marijuana with intent to distribute can result in even more severe penalties, including fines and jail time.
Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical marijuana industry may be able to find job opportunities in cultivation facilities. These jobs may include positions such as cultivation technician, grower, or processing technician. Job seekers should consult with the MMCC website for information on job openings and requirements.
Maryland Marijuana Sale and Distribution Laws
In Maryland, it is illegal to sell or distribute marijuana for recreational use. The penalties for selling or distributing marijuana vary based on the amount of marijuana involved and whether it was sold to a minor.
If you are caught selling less than 50 lbs of marijuana, you can face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. If you sell between 50 and 449 lbs, you can face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If you sell 450 lbs or more, you can face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
If you sell marijuana to a minor, the penalties can be even more severe. Selling marijuana to someone under the age of 18 can result in up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
However, Maryland has legalized the sale and distribution of medical marijuana. The state currently has over 100 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that are authorized to sell marijuana to patients with qualifying medical conditions.
|Quantity of Marijuana||Penalty|
|Less than 10 g||Civil offense, fine of up to $100|
|10 g to less than 50 lbs||Criminal offense, up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000|
|50 lbs to less than 449 lbs||Criminal offense, up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000|
|450 lbs or more||Criminal offense, up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000|
It is important to note that while some states have legalized recreational marijuana, it remains illegal under federal law. This can make it difficult for businesses involved in the sale and distribution of marijuana to access banking services and other financial resources.
In summary, while the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana is illegal in Maryland, the state has legalized the sale and distribution of medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions. The penalties for selling or distributing marijuana for recreational use can be severe, and individuals caught doing so can face significant fines and potential jail time.
Maryland Marijuana DUI Laws
Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Maryland. If a driver is suspected of being impaired, they may be subjected to a field sobriety test and a blood or urine test to determine the presence of marijuana in their system. If the driver is found to be impaired, they may face charges for Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
The penalties for a marijuana-related DUI in Maryland can be severe. A first-time offense can result in up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a six-month driver’s license suspension. Subsequent offenses can lead to even harsher penalties, including longer jail time and steeper fines.
It is important to note that the presence of marijuana in a driver’s system does not necessarily indicate impairment at the time of driving. Marijuana can remain in a person’s system for days or even weeks after use, which can make it difficult to accurately determine impairment. However, if a driver is found to be impaired, they can face serious legal consequences.
If you are in Maryland and plan to use marijuana, it is always best to avoid driving while under the influence. Designate a sober driver or make alternative transportation arrangements to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.
Maryland Marijuana Criminal Records
If you have been convicted of a marijuana-related offense in Maryland, it may impact your criminal record. However, recent changes to Maryland law have made it easier for individuals to expunge certain marijuana-related offenses from their criminal records.
Under Maryland law, individuals may be eligible for expungement of their criminal records if they were convicted of certain offenses related to marijuana possession. In some cases, individuals may also be able to have past convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana removed from their criminal records.
It is important to note that expungement is not an automatic process, and individuals must apply to have their records expunged. The process for expunging a record can be complex and may require the assistance of an attorney.
Additionally, it is important to be aware that while some marijuana-related offenses may be eligible for expungement, more serious offenses such as distribution or intent to distribute marijuana may not be eligible.
If you have questions about how a marijuana-related offense may impact your criminal record in Maryland, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney.
Maryland Marijuana Taxes and Revenue
Since the legalization of medical marijuana in 2014, Maryland has seen a steady increase in tax revenue generated from the sale of medical cannabis. In fact, the state collected more than $1 million in taxes in just the first few months of sales.
The tax revenue from the sale of medical marijuana is distributed among several programs, including substance abuse treatment, community health clinics, and workforce development initiatives. The state also collects an additional $250,000 in application fees for medical marijuana businesses.
If recreational marijuana is eventually legalized in Maryland, the tax revenue generated could be substantial. Estimates suggest that the state could collect up to $165 million in annual revenue from legal marijuana sales. This revenue could be used to fund education programs, public health initiatives, and other government services.
However, it’s important to note that any potential revenue from recreational marijuana sales would depend on the specific regulations and tax rates put in place by the state government.
Maryland Marijuana Industry and Job Opportunities
The legalization of marijuana in Maryland has not only changed the laws surrounding the drug, but it has also created new job opportunities and industries. The medical marijuana industry, in particular, has seen significant growth since the legalization of medical marijuana in the state in 2014.
There are a variety of jobs available in the medical marijuana industry, including cultivation experts, dispensary managers, and patient care specialists. These jobs often require specialized training and knowledge of the industry, but they can also be very rewarding for those passionate about the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
If recreational marijuana is legalized in Maryland, the industry and job opportunities will likely grow even more. This could include jobs in areas such as marketing and distribution, as well as retail management positions in recreational marijuana shops.
It is important to note that any job in the marijuana industry, including those in the medical field, still requires adherence to state regulations and guidelines. This includes background checks and compliance with various safety and security protocols.
Overall, the legalization of marijuana in Maryland has opened up new opportunities for job growth and industry development. As the industry continues to expand, it will be interesting to see what new job opportunities arise and how the industry will continue to evolve.
FAQ: Common Questions About Maryland Marijuana Laws
Whether you’re a Maryland resident or just passing through, it’s important to understand the state’s marijuana laws and regulations. Here are some common questions people have about Maryland’s marijuana laws:
Can I legally use marijuana for medical purposes in Maryland?
Yes, Maryland allows the use of medical marijuana for qualifying patients with a valid medical marijuana card. However, it’s important to note that medical marijuana use is still subject to certain restrictions and regulations.
What are the penalties for possession of marijuana in Maryland?
The penalties for marijuana possession in Maryland vary depending on the amount in possession. Possession of less than 10 grams is considered a civil offense and may result in a fine. Possession of more than 10 grams is a criminal offense and may result in jail time and larger fines.
Can I legally grow marijuana in Maryland?
Only licensed medical marijuana growers are allowed to legally cultivate marijuana in Maryland. Growing marijuana for personal use without a license is illegal and can result in criminal charges.
What are the penalties for selling marijuana in Maryland?
The penalties for selling or distributing marijuana in Maryland can vary depending on the amount of marijuana involved and other factors. Selling less than 50 pounds of marijuana is a felony offense, while selling 50 pounds or more may result in more severe penalties.
Can I expunge a marijuana-related offense from my criminal record in Maryland?
It may be possible to expunge a marijuana-related offense from your criminal record in Maryland, depending on the circumstances of the offense. To find out if your offense is eligible for expungement, you should consult with a lawyer or contact the Maryland expungement unit.
How much tax revenue does marijuana sales generate for Maryland?
As of 2021, Maryland had generated over $1 billion in tax revenue from legal marijuana sales. This revenue is distributed to various programs and initiatives throughout the state, including education and public safety.
What types of jobs are available in Maryland’s medical marijuana industry?
The medical marijuana industry in Maryland offers a wide range of job opportunities, including positions in cultivation, processing, testing, and sales. There are also opportunities for individuals with experience in healthcare and regulatory compliance.
It’s important to stay informed about Maryland’s marijuana laws and regulations, as they are subject to change. If you have any questions or concerns about Maryland’s marijuana laws, you should consult with a qualified legal professional.