Maryland marijuana laws state that patients who use cannabis for medical purposes may do so without the fear of repercussion. Unfortunately, in the state of Maryland, recreational cannabis is not legal. And lawmakers see no push to legalize marijuana in 2020. Although Maryland only recently legalized medical cannabis use, they've grown into a state with almost a hundred thousand registered users. This state made it really easy for their residents to apply for the Maryland medical marijuana program.
Recreational Weed Is Not Legal in Maryland
While many states like California and Oregon move towards legalizing recreational marijuana. The Maryland pot laws remain to be a little more complicated!
In the state of Maryland, recreational weed remains to be a prohibited act. The concern with creating Maryland cannabis laws that legalize pot for recreational use stems from the idea that, with legalization, the state may see a rise in driving intoxication and its associated accidents.
So, weed laws in Maryland state that the recreational use of cannabis is illegal. However, the state has mentioned that possessing less than 10 grams of cannabis is decriminalized. So, what does this mean?
To put simply, if you possess pot—less than 10 grams of it— and if it’s not for medical use, then as a first-time offender you may be given a fine of up to $100. So, state authorities are not able to penalize a person, such as given them prison time, for possessing marijuana.
Maryland Medical Marijuana Program
Although recreational cannabis is not yet been legal. The state has indeed legalized marijuana for medical use.
Maryland marijuana weed laws were enacted in 2014 under House Bill 881. Under the Maryland pot laws for medical use, a patient interested in using cannabis for medical grounds needs to acquire a letter (certification) from a registered and licensed medical practitioner.
So, to become a patient in Maryland and to be protected under the medical Maryland weed laws you must:
Register yourself on the Commission’s website. There you'll be asked to provide vital information such as your name, date of birth, and a copy of a state-issued ID card.
We must emphasize, that Maryland marijuana laws state that a patient requires written proof and/or certification from a licensed health practitioner. The acting medical professional must be registered with the Commission and must have an authentic physician-patient relationship.
Once you have registered and received written certification from a health provider, you will be given a temporary MMCC patient ID card. Patient ID cards cost $50 and you will need them to purchase cannabis from your local dispensary.
Medical Cannabis Laws in Maryland
Maryland marijuana pot laws state that when a patient is certified to use cannabis for medical use, they must follow certain guidelines.
Maryland marijuana laws dictate that a medical patient can possess up to 120 grams of cannabis for medical use.
Under Maryland weed laws, a citizen of Maryland can only purchase cannabis for medical use from a Maryland-licensed dispensary.
Maryland marijuana laws state that a patient under the age of 18 years of age will require consent from either a parent or legal guardian to obtain medical marijuana. With this ID card, you are permitted to visit and purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary in Maryland.
Under Maryland pot laws, a dispensary agent will require your MMCC patient ID card to validate that you can purchase cannabis. A medical marijuana patient is only permitted to purchase a maximum of a 30 day supply of cannabis for medical use.
Weed Laws in Maryland: Marijuana Paraphernalia
As we mentioned earlier, weed laws in Maryland can be a little complicated. Medical marijuana is legal for approved patients, and it has been decriminalized.
Maryland weed laws define paraphernalia as instruments and equipment which have been used to manufacture, use, and distribute marijuana in Maryland. Now paraphernalia is rather a broad term, it includes materials such as:
Lights, fertilizers, gardening tools required for the cultivation of marijuana.
It can include bongs and pipes.
Under the Maryland weed laws, there are several penalties for a person using, or selling marijuana paraphernalia. These penalties include
Possessing marijuana paraphernalia is a civil offense. The selling controlled paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $1000 in fine.
Delivery of marijuana paraphernalia to a person considered a minor is a civil offense. It is punishable by up to 8 years in imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000.
The selling of marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor. First-time offenders caught selling marijuana paraphernalia could face a fine of up to $500. While second-time offenders and subsequent offenders can face both a fine of $2,000 and imprisonment of up to 2 years.
Maryland Cannabis Laws: The Civil Offense
Thinking about breaking the law? Maryland weed laws can be quite harsh. Here are just some of the penalties you could face for playing around with cannabis in Maryland.
For possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana with no intent of distribution: A first time offender can face a fine of up to $100, while a second-time offender can face a fine of up to $250.
Possessing more than 10 grams of pot: Under Maryland pot laws, this is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment. Also, those caught with more than 10 grams but less than 50 lbs of pot can face a fine of up to $1000.
Under the pot laws in Maryland, neither patients of the medical marijuana program nor caregivers may cultivate their own cannabis. The penalty for cultivation will be punishable in a similar manner as “simple possession” or “possession with an intent to distribute." Only licensed growers by the state can grow the medical cannabis available for sale in the local dispensaries.
Maryland Weed Laws: A Brief History of State Laws
House Bill 702: Considered the grandfather of cannabis laws in Maryland. This House Bill referred to as the Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act, protected patients who possessed less than an ounce of cannabis for medical reasons. It simply reduced the penalty of possession. It meant a patient can still face a fine, maximum of $100 for possessing less than an ounce of medical marijuana.
State Bill 308: This Maryland pot law took things a step further. State Bill 308 provided complete protection to patients who possessed marijuana for medical purposes. In 2011, SB 308 allowed approved patients to possess and use cannabis for medical reasons. This bill obliterated the fine for possessing medical marijuana.
House Bill 180: Signed in 2013, this Maryland medical marijuana law protects caregivers of patients who use medical marijuana.
House Bill 991 and Senate Bill 923: Signed and approved in 2014. These Maryland weed laws instated that the Maryland Department of Health and Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission develop the appropriate regulations for the patient’s registry. These Maryland weed laws actively allowed patients to possess a 30 day supply of medical cannabis. Also, as of 2016, the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission is now responsible for issuing licenses to dispensaries across the state.
House Bill 104: In 2016, this Maryland pot law came into action. Its purpose is to include dentists, podiatrists, and nurse practitioners as healthcare members legally able to recommend medical marijuana.
If you have a question about anything else related to the Maryland medical marijuana program, we encourage you to visit their patient FAQ.