top of page

Was the referendum passed to legalize marijuana use in Maryland for those aged 21 or older?

Yes. The new law allows adults aged 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces cannabis flower, 12 grams concentrated cannabis or a total of not more than 750 mg THC. It goes into effect July 1, 2023. This is called the "personal usage amount."

What other things does the new law do for you?

The referendum on the ballot is also required to legalize adult cannabis use.

  • Establishes a procedure for expunging any case in which possession of less that 10 grams of cannabis is the only charge.

  • The amount of cannabis that a person can possess is increased and subject to a civil penalty rather than a criminal penalty. This change took effect January 1, 2002.

  • Data collection and analysis required for studies and data collection on cannabis use, impaired driving, as well as other safety and health issues.

  • Establishes a Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council. This council will study and make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding cannabis regulation.

  • Three new funds are created: A public health fund to address the health effects of legalizing adult cannabis use; a fund for business assistance to increase participation by small, minority, and women-owned cannabis businesses; a fund for community reinvestment, repair, which provides money to communities that have been disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition and enforcement.

Are there any other states that allow recreational (adult) cannabis use?

Maryland is among at least 20 states that have legalized adult cannabis use. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis between states.

Is marijuana still illegal at federal level?

Yes, possession and use of cannabis are still illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. While states may allow adult use within their borders, interstate transportation is prohibited by federal law. Federal land, including federal buildings, national parks and military bases, remains a federal crime for cannabis possession. Even in states that have legalized cannabis, it is still illegal to possess.

How will the legalization of adult-use marijuana impact the medical cannabis program?

The new law has no direct impact on the medical marijuana program. Patients can still obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Anyone 18 or older can register for the program. The Maryland General Assembly will establish a regulatory framework to regulate the adult market during the 2023 legislative session. July 1, 2023 is the first day adult-use cannabis can legally be sold in Maryland.

Questions about purchase, possession, or home-growing:

When is it legal to purchase cannabis in Maryland?

Beginning July 1, 2023, cannabis possession and use will be legalized for anyone 21 years old or older. The Maryland General Assembly will examine a regulatory framework to regulate the adult market during the 2023 legislative session (January 11, through April 10, 2023). The General Assembly will also determine the date when adult-use cannabis sales in Maryland may be legalized. More information will be provided by the MMCC as it becomes available.

When will marijuana be legal in Maryland?

The ballot referendum didn't establish a market for adult-use marijuana (e.g. retail stores, dispensaries). The new law demands that the General Assembly establish a framework to regulate and tax cannabis. This will be done by the legislature during the 2023 legislative session (January 11, to April 10, 2023). More information will be provided by the MMCC as it becomes available.

THC products are sold at my local gas station/convenience store. These products are legal? Are they safe?

Only licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are licensed by the MMCC. Only certified patients can purchase products from licensed dispensaries. The MMCC is aware of the possibility that THC-containing products may be sold in other outlets across the State. However, these products are not currently regulated either by the MMCC nor any other state agency. Maryland law also prohibits sales of products containing delta-8 and delta-10 THC to anyone under 21 years old.

What age do you have to be in order to legally possess or use cannabis?

Beginning July 1, 2023, anyone 21 years old or older can legally possess and use nonmedical cannabis.

Can military purchase at 18 without being subject to the age restriction?

Members of the military aren't exempt. Non-medical cannabis can only be used or possessed by 21-year-olds. Members of the military may be subject to additional federal restrictions regarding the possession or use of cannabis.

What amount of cannabis can I legally possess?

Adults aged 21 and over can possess up to 1.5 ounces or 12 grams of marijuana flower. However, they cannot have more than 750 mg THC. This is called the "personal usage amount."

I am under 21. Is there any penalty for using or possessing cannabis while under 21?

Persons under 21 years old cannot possess or use nonmedical cannabis. Possession of less than 2.5 ounces (a civil amount) could result in a penalty, a court order for drug education programming and referrals for treatment and assessment of substance abuse disorder. Possession of more that 2.5 ounces could result in criminal sanctions.

Is it legal to grow cannabis at your home?

An adult aged 21 or older can legally grow up to two plants in their house, but they must not be visible to the public. A household can also grow up to two plants in their home, regardless of how many people live there. Cannabis plants are not allowed to be grown by anyone under 21. During its 2023 legislative session, the General Assembly could also adopt additional home-growing laws for medical cannabis patients.

Use and Consumption Questions:

Where can I legally consume cannabis?

Cannabis use is generally restricted to private residences or homes. Additional restrictions might apply if you live in multiunit housing, such as an apartment or condominium or if your home is rented.

Where can I not consume cannabis?

In public places and in motor vehicles, it is illegal to smoke cannabis (or hemp). Public places include outdoor and indoor spaces that are open to the public. These spaces can include bars, restaurants, public transportation, such as buses, vans and trains, taxicabs and limousines, and places of employment. You cannot possess cannabis on federal property, such as a national parks, because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level.

Can I smoke cannabis at work?

The referendum does NOT address workplace impairment or cannabis use. Individuals are still subject to all existing laws and workplace policies regarding substance and cannabis use. The referendum does NOT address employer drug screening for employees or potential employees. You can ask your employer or potential employer for more information regarding its policies on substance abuse in the workplace.

Can I travel with marijuana outside of Maryland?

No. Federal law still makes cannabis illegal. You can't transport or carry it over state borders. It is still illegal to enter Maryland with any cannabis products, medical or non-medical. It is illegal to mail cannabis out of or into the State.

Safety and health questions:

What does the new law do to protect youth?

The legislation prohibits cannabis possession and use for anyone under 21 years old. It also requires research on the effects of legalization on people under 21. Additionally, it calls for recommendations for public policy to limit youth access to cannabis and reduce its appeal to youth. These restrictions include advertising and marketing restrictions, age verifications at point of sale, restrictions on sales close to schools, libraries, parks, and youth-serving locations such as libraries and parks.

What parents should know about youth cannabis use?

Youth and young adults can be affected by cannabis use. The health and wellbeing of young people and adults can be affected by cannabis use. See Storing Cannabis safely factsheet.

How will the new law protect our roads?

Maryland law still makes it illegal to use cannabis in a motor vehicle by a passenger or driver. If they find impairment, law enforcement officers can make a marijuana DUI arrest. This Cannabis and Driving Don’t Mix factsheet will help you learn more about how to prevent driving under the influence.

Can legal cannabis be used to treat addiction or problem use?

CUD can be caused by cannabis use. 3Legislation of adult cannabis use is associated with higher rates of cannabis use. 4,5.6 More research is needed to determine if this leads to an increase in CUD. It is important to note that youth use of cannabis is more likely to develop CUD. 7,8

What signs are there of problem cannabis use?

You may experience signs such as: using more cannabis than you intended; failing to quit cannabis use; craving cannabis; smoking cannabis when there is no other option; using cannabis in high-risk situations like driving or with children; continuing to smoke cannabis despite having experienced the same effects; needing more cannabis to get the same effects; or experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

How can I stop my cannabis use?

There are many options, from group therapy and counseling to inpatient treatment. It all depends on the level of support that you need. Talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

Are there any health risks associated adult-use cannabis?

It is not known what the health effects of cannabis use are. There have been studies linking cannabis use to anxiety, paranoia, and cannabis use disorder, particularly with frequent cannabis use and addiction, 9, and psychosis 10. Regular users of cannabis, including those who vape it, are more likely than others to develop irritation or inflammation in their lungs. 11,12 and 13 Secondhand cannabis smoke can also cause irritation or inflammation in the lining of the lungs.

Can you use cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Legalization does not necessarily mean that a product can be used safely. There is much to learn about the long-term and short-term effects of cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding. American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommend against using cannabis (including CBD) during pregnancy or breastfeeding. See Cannabis and Pregnancy & Breastfeeding factsheet.

What is the risk of cannabis being mixed with alcohol, tobacco and/or prescription medications?

15Using cannabis and alcohol together can cause greater impairment than if you use one or the other. This can increase the risk of personal injury. 17Talk to your doctor about all medications that you take and any side effects that could occur when they are combined with cannabis.

General questions about cannabis:

What's cannabis?

There are many names for cannabis: marijuana, weed and pot. It can be used to produce psychoactive effects and is often consumed for recreational and medical purposes. There are hundreds of chemical compounds in cannabis, including cannabinoids as well as terpenes.

What is the difference between "cannabis” and "marijuana?"

No. No. Both terms refer to flowering plants of the genus Cannabis.

What's THC?

There are more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis plants. These cannabinoids can have different effects on the body and mind. The most popular cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as "THC", and Cannabidiol, known as "CBD". THC is well-known for its psychoactive effects, which can give you a high feeling.

What's CBD?

Cannabidiol (or CBD) is the second most popular cannabinoid found in cannabis. CBD is not psychoactive or a high like THC.

What's hemp?

Hemp is cannabis varieties that have 0.3% or less delta-9THC. Other than the addition of hemp to the Clean Indoor Air Act's list of substances that are regulated, the new adult-use legislation does not have any direct effect on hemp products.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page