Maryland Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits

by Kat Austin December 07, 2023 5 min read

Maryland Cannabis Laws + Possession Limits - Vida Optima™

In recent times, Maryland has undergone substantial transformations in its cannabis legislation, moving away from stringent restrictions to embrace medical marijuana usage. Grasping the intricacies of these laws might seem daunting, but worry not — we're here to illuminate the subject.

Join us as we navigate through the details of Maryland's cannabis laws, encompassing aspects like possession, cultivation, penalties, and the complexities associated with obtaining and distributing medical marijuana within the state.

Table of Contents
Is Cannabis Legal in Maryland?
Maryland Cannabis Laws
How the Legal Sale of Cannabis Happens
Penalties for Marijuana-Related Crimes
Where to Buy Cannabis Online

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis is legal for medical use and recreational use in Maryland. 
  • A medical patient can possess up to 150 grams while a rec user can possess up to 1.5 ounces at one time. 
  • There are penalties for possessing more than the allowable amount of cannabis, for unlicensed sales, and for consuming in public spaces. 

Is Cannabis Legal in Maryland?

Outdoor grown cannabis flower cultivated for legal Maryland cannabis dispensaries.

Yes, cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational use in Maryland.

On November 8, 2022, Maryland voters made history, approving Question 4 with a resounding 67.2% majority, marking the largest margin for a cannabis legalization ballot measure. This legislative initiative allowed adults aged 21 and over to access cannabis legally.

According to the new law that went into effect on July 1, 2023, adults 21 or older may legally possess a personal use amount, according to the state guidelines. 

During the 2023 legislative session, Maryland's General Assembly passed HB 556 and SB 516, paving the way for an adult-use cannabis market in the state. Governor Wes Moore signed these bills into law on May 4, 2023. Established medical dispensaries swiftly transitioned to serving adult-use consumers, yielding a whopping $87 million in cannabis sales within the first month of legal availability.

Complementing the omnibus implementation bill, HB 1071 was passed in 2023. This bill changed the landscape by decriminalizing the odor of cannabis and reducing the penalty for public smoking to a $50 fine for initial offenses. Governor Moore allowed the bill to become law without his signature on May 19, 2023, and it officially took effect on July 1, 2023.

Regulations for Medical Use in Maryland

There are regulations in place to govern how a medical marijuana patient in Illinois can possess and use cannabis. For instance, an Maryland Medical Card Holder can:

  • Buy and possess up 120 grams of cannabis flower and/or 36 grams of THC in infused products.
  • Transport cannabis inside a secure container that is inaccessible to the people in the vehicle. 
  • Designate a caregiver over the age of 21 to distribute cannabis to a qualifying minor. 
  • Grow up to four plants per residence. 

Qualifying Conditions and Regulations for Medical Cannabis in Maryland

For adults to qualify for a medical cannabis card, they must have a qualifying condition. The qualifying conditions in Maryland include:

  • Cachexia, Anorexia, or Wasting Syndrome
  • Chronic or severe pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.

Regulations for Recreational Cannabis Use in Maryland

According to the most recent cannabis laws, adults over the age of 21 in Maryland can legally:

  • possess up to 1.5 ounces of flower, 12 grams of vape cartridges, or cannabis products containing up to 750 milligrams of Delta-9-THC. 
  • grow up to 2 cannabis plants, which must be kept out of public view and secured away from under age persons
  • transport cannabis in a sealed container in a place that is out of reach to people in the vehicle, such as in the trunk. 

Restrictions for Cannabis Use in Maryland

While cannabis, there are stringent regulations governing its possession and consumption. Per these laws, qualified patients are prohibited from:

  • Using cannabis in:
    • Public spaces
    • Businesses that lack a license for commercial cannabis consumption
    • Motorized vehicles in motion, for both driver and passengers
  • Carrying or consuming medical marijuana on federal property, given its classification as a Schedule I Controlled Substance
  • Transporting medical marijuana that isn't in a sealed container
  • Transferring cannabis to another adult in any case, even if they have a medical marijuana license

Louisiana Cannabis Laws

Here's a list of the specific bills that altered the cannabis landscape in Maryland:

  1. Question 4: Legalized cannabis for adults 21 and over. Legislatively referred ballot measure approved by 67.2% of Maryland voters.
  1. HB 837 (Companion Bill to Question 4):Supported the implementation of legalized cannabis for adults and outlined regulations.
  1. HB 556/SB 516:Twin bills passed during the 2023 legislative session to establish and regulate the adult-use cannabis market.
  1. HB 1071: Passed in 2023, reducing public smoking fines from $250 to $50 for first offenses and disallows the odor of cannabis as sole grounds for a search.

These bills collectively paved the way for Maryland's journey towards legalized cannabis and established the groundwork for an adult-use market while revising penalties and search protocols related to cannabis consumption.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Maryland

Possession and Penalties

  • Less than 1.5 ounces: No penalty for personal use.
  • 1.5 to 2.5 ounces: Civil offense, fine up to $250 for first-time offenders.
  • 2.5 ounces to less than 50 pounds: Misdemeanor, up to one year in prison, and a fine up to $1,000.
  • 50 pounds or more: Minimum 5 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
  • Public consumption: Civil fine up to $250 for first offense, $500 for subsequent offenses.
  • Adult sharing: Permitted up to certain amounts without remuneration between individuals 21 or older.

Distribution and Trafficking

  • Intent to distribute less than 50 pounds:Felony, up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
  • Drug kingpin with 50 pounds or more:Felony, 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, no parole.
  • Possession within school boundaries: Felony, 20 years in prison, $40,000 fine.

Cultivation and Trafficking

  • Cultivation: Up to two plants per household allowed, violation results in a misdemeanor with up to 3 years in prison or a fine up to $5,000 or both.

Other Offenses

  • Hashish and Concentrates: Punished similar to marijuana possession.
  • Paraphernalia: Different rules; products designed for cannabis use are not considered paraphernalia.
  • Mandatory Minimums: Various offenses, including repeat offenders and possession with intent near schools, have mandatory minimum sentences.

Legal Cannabis and Buy Online Alternatives

Although cannabis is legal in many states, hemp-derived THC products are still rising as a noteworthy alternative thanks to their affordability and accessibility. Hemp-derived THC products are federally legal, unlike traditional marijuana products, meaning they can often be ordered online and shipped right to your door. Read “Is Delta-8 Legal? A State by State Guide to Delta-8-THC Laws” to learn more about hemp THC laws near you, then check out our Elev8 and Cloud9 Collections.

Vida Optima Cloud9 Delta-9-THC Gummies

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Cannabis Encyclopedia

HXC vs THC: Effects, Legality, and Benefits Explained - Vida Optima™
HXC vs THC: Effects, Legality, and Benefits Explained

by Kat Austin April 24, 2024 7 min read

HXC may fill THC's shoes better than most THC alternatives. Here's why:
Read More
What Is HHC vs Delta-8: The Differences You Shouldn't Ignore - Vida Optima™
What Is HHC vs Delta-8: The Differences You Shouldn't Ignore

by Kat Austin April 18, 2024 8 min read

Don't let hexahydrocannabinol be a mystery. Here's what you should know:
Read More
THCO vs THCP: Detailed Comparison Guide - Vida Optima™
THCO vs THCP: Detailed Comparison Guide

by Kat Austin March 28, 2024 6 min read

Slight differences between these two cannabinoids produce very unique effects.
Read More