Starting on July 1st, 2023, adults 21 and older in Maryland can purchase and possess recreational cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Many patients are wondering how recreational cannabis will operate in Maryland. For example, will the legalization of adult-use cannabis impact the medical cannabis program? Also, what kind of products are you able to purchase? Are you allowed to grow cannabis in your home? We hope to answer all of these questions and more.
Below we have compiled several frequently asked questions regarding how recreational cannabis will operate in Maryland.
GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT ADULT-USE LEGISLATION:
The General Assembly passed a legislation implementation bill this year, what does that mean?
In response to the voter approval of adult-use legalization (Question 4 on the 2022 ballot), the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 556 and Senate Bill 516, which develop a framework for Adult-Use Sales to begin on July 1, 2023. The legislation has been presented to the Governor, and as an emergency bill, will take immediate effect upon the Governor’s signature.
What does the HB556/SB516 bill do?
First and foremost, the bill allows individuals 21 and older to purchase cannabis products legally from a licensed dispensary. Existing medical cannabis dispensaries will be able to sell to adult consumers on July 1, if they choose to convert their license.
Additionally, the legislation authorizes the Maryland Cannabis Administration to issue additional grower, processor, and dispensary licenses, and new incubator licenses over two licensing rounds.
Is cannabis still illegal at the federal level?
Yes, the use and possession of cannabis remains illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). States may allow adult use within their jurisdictions, but interstate transport is still prohibited under federal law. Cannabis possession also remains unlawful on federal land (including federal buildings, national parks, military bases, etc.), even within states that have legalized it.
I am interested in a cannabis license, what should I do?
The legislation establishes three separate rounds of licensing. The first round is scheduled to be held in the fall of 2023, with the second round coming in 2024. Prior to the first application round, the new Maryland Cannabis Administration will conduct extensive outreach and education on the licensing process and cannabis industry. A mix of in-person and virtual events will provide interested individuals and businesses with information on how to apply and application requirements and connect potential applicants with industry experts to learn more about the cannabis industry. If you would like to be notified of when the applications will be made available, click here to submit your contact information. The state is expected to begin conducting outreach shortly after sales begin on July 1. Click for additional information on the anticipated timeline [ view here ] for the new adult-use cannabis licensing process.
PURCHASE | POSSESSION | HOME GROW QUESTIONS:
When the law takes effect on July 1, 2023, how old do I have to be to legally use or possess cannabis?
Beginning July 1, 2023, a person 21 years or older may lawfully possess and use non-medical cannabis.
What forms of ID are acceptable?
Valid ID must be government-issued and include a driver’s license, state ID card, passport/passport card, military ID, or tribal card.
Is a medical card needed to purchase cannabis?
A medical card is still needed to purchase cannabis sold as part of the medical cannabis program. To learn about medical cannabis and how to obtain a medical card, we can help! You can register as a medical patient here at Health for Life – it’s easy!
How can I purchase cannabis products?
Starting July 1, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in the State will be able to sell to anyone older than 21 years of age, if they choose to convert their license. A list of licensed dispensaries that converted their license will be posted on our website before July 1. Cannabis products are subject to a 9 % sales tax (the same as alcohol).
What products can I purchase?
A person may purchase cannabis or cannabis products from a licensed dispensary if they display a government-issued photo ID at the point-of-sale that demonstrates they are 21 years or older. Individuals will only be able to purchase up to the personal use amount authorized under law. Below is the sales limit per day that a customer can purchase as well as the types of products a person can and cannot purchase.
Sales Limits per day:
- 1.5 ounces of usable cannabis product
- 12 grams of concentrated cannabis product
- Edible cannabis product that does not exceed 750 milligrams of THC.
- Cannabis vaporizing devices must be weighed and considered as concentrated cannabis product- limit 12 grams.
Unable to purchase:
- Edibles, Capsules, Tinctures containing MORE than 10 mg per serving and 100 mg per container.
- (i) Kief; (ii) Hashish; (iii) Bubble hash; (iv) Oil; (v) Wax; (vi) Shatter; (vii) Resin or any other Concentrated cannabis product excluding vaporizing devices (i.e., cartridges)
Should I keep or get rid of my medical cannabis card?
For medical patients, there are a lot of reasons why you should keep your medical cannabis card. It comes with a lot of advantages such as lower taxes, access to higher potency products, medical consultations from physicians, and more. Learn more here about the six reasons why you should keep your medical cannabis card in Maryland.
Will it be legal to grow cannabis at home?
A person 21 years or older may lawfully cultivate up to two plants in their home, out of public view. Likewise, a household may cultivate a maximum of two plants, regardless of how many people over age 21 live in the residence. Individuals under 21 are not permitted to cultivate cannabis plants. In addition, medical patients registered with the Maryland Cannabis Administration can cultivate two additional plants, for a total of four plants; not to exceed more than four plants in each residence. Landlords and property owners can prohibit growing cannabis on their properties.
How much cannabis will I legally be able to possess?
Adults 21 years and older will be able to possess up to:
- 1.5 ounces of usable cannabis product,
- 12 grams of concentrated cannabis product,
- Edible cannabis product that does not exceed 750 mg of THC,
- Cannabis vaporizing devices must be weighed and considered as concentrates cannabis product-limit is 12 grams.
This is known as the “personal use amount.”
I am under 21. Are there penalties for underage use and possession of cannabis?
A person under 21 years of age may not possess or use non-medical cannabis. Possession of 2.5 ounces or less (a civil use amount) may result in a fine, a court order to attend drug education programming, and referral for assessment and/or treatment of substance use disorder. Possession of more than 2.5 ounces may result in criminal penalties.
Will the military be exempt from the age requirement, i.e., can they purchase at age 18?
No, members of the military are not exempt. Only persons aged 21 years or older may use or possess non-medical cannabis. Other federal restrictions on the use or possession of cannabis may apply to members of the military.
CANNABIS USAGE & CONSUMPTION QUESTIONS
Where is cannabis use prohibited?
Cannabis (and hemp) smoking is prohibited in any public place or in any motor vehicle. A public place includes outdoor spaces and indoor spaces open to the public, including parks, streets and sidewalks, bars and restaurants, public transportation (e.g., buses, vans, trains, taxicabs, limousines) and indoor places of employment. Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, you also may not possess cannabis on any federal property such as a national park.
Can I use cannabis at work?
The legislation does not address cannabis use or impairment in the workplace. Individuals remain subject to any existing laws and workplace policies on substance or cannabis use (e.g., federal laws prohibiting the operation of commercial transport vehicles while impaired, or workplace policies prohibiting cannabis use specifically and/or impairment generally). The legislation does not address the use of employer drug screening of employees or prospective employees. Your employer or prospective employer can provide more specific information about its policies regarding substance use in the workplace.
Can I travel outside of Maryland with cannabis?
No. Cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and you may not carry or transport cannabis over state lines. It remains illegal to leave (or enter) Maryland with any cannabis products–medical or adult use (non-medical) products. Mailing cannabis
GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT CANNABIS
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant with many names- marijuana, weed, pot, hash- that can have psychoactive characteristics and is consumed for medical and non-medical (recreational) purposes. The cannabis plant has hundreds of chemical compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes. You learn more about the different cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, terpenes, here on our website. [ view here ]
Is there a difference between “cannabis” and “marijuana”?
No. The new legislation replaces references to marijuana with “cannabis” in the Maryland Code. Either term refers to flowering plants in the genus Cannabis.
What is THC?
The cannabis plant produces more than 100 different cannabinoids, which are compounds that can have different effects on the mind and body. Tetrahydrocannabinol known as “THC” and cannabidiol known as “CBD” are the most common. THC is known for its psychoactive effects (a feeling of being high). There are different forms of THC, including delta-9-THC, traditionally found in most cannabis products. However, other forms of THC, such as delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC can also be found in cannabis plants and will be included in the regulated market as part of this legislation.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” or psychoactive effect by itself.
What is hemp?
Hemp refers to varieties of cannabis plants that contain 0.3% or less delta-9-THC. Hemp plants have various industrial uses, as well as can be made into consumable products. The new adult-use legislation regulates consumable and inhalable intoxicating hemp products with other cannabis products while exempting non-intoxicating products, such as CBD edibles, lotions, and tinctures.
MMCC (Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission)
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