Maryland’s medical marijuana program began in 2017, providing medical patients with cannabis alternatives to pharmaceutical medications. Citizens of the state 18 and over with a medical need for marijuana are now able to safely purchase legal weed in The Old Line State.
While recreational marijuana is currently still illegal in Maryland, the state legislature is on the verge of legalization. Early this year, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch created a marijuana work group to study and report on the most effective way to roll out recreational legalization in the state. The work group will report its findings to the state legislature on December 31st, 2019, so expect huge changes to Maryland’s recreational cannabis policy starting in 2020.
On April 14th, 2014, current Governor Martin O’Malley signed into effect H.B. 881, legalizing medical marijuana in Maryland. After 3 long years of policy debate and rollout planning, Maryland’s first marijuana dispensary opened their doors to the public in December of 2017. Today there are dozens of dispensaries across the state, who able to provide medical patients with various marijuana products.
To purchase medical marijuana in the state of Maryland, there are several regulatory hoops to jump through. First, you must register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) and clarify your intent to become a medical marijuana patient in the state. After registering with the MMCC, you are required to make an in-person visit to a medical professional who is also registered with the MMCC. A physician, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or dentist may issue a medical marijuana recommendation to a citizen of Maryland. After you receive a medical recommendation, you are then able to purchase marijuana from one of the state-regulated dispensaries.
If you are a medical marijuana patient in the state of Maryland, you are eligible to have weed delivered right to your door. Many dispensaries operate 7 days a week and deliver to your house free of charge. Every dispensary will have their own hours and regulations when it comes to delivery options, so check their website before ordering.
Cities across Maryland are legally allowed to set their own rules when it comes to hours of operations for MMJ dispensaries, so dispensaries a few blocks away may have vastly different hours. If you are in Baltimore, expect dispensaries to close around 9 pm. Check our dispensary directory for specific store hours.
Currently, there is no set standard for purchasing limits in the state of Maryland. The purchasing limits will be different for every individual, as the amount of marijuana flower or THC products a person can purchase will be specified on their physician certification. A 30-day purchasing limit will be tailored to meet the medical needs of each patient, so speak with your physician regarding the amount you need. Keep in mind that it is a rolling 30-day limit, not based on the calendar month.
Having a general understanding of cannabis products can be quite useful on your first visit to any dispensary. The time of grass has passed and marijuana has moved far beyond the days of simple buds and blunts. As America’s opinion of marijuana has evolved, so too has the cannabis industry. Like dispensaries in states across the nation, expect to find an array of THC-infused products. Some of the products available at most Maryland dispensaries include:
As for edibles, these have remained illegal since medical marijuana came to fruition in The Old Line State. However in May 2019, marijuana edibles were legalized, allowing researchers to study the effects edibles have on patients. Expect to soon see edibles in select dispensaries across the state.
One of the driving factors behind the legalization of marijuana in states has been the tax dollars. After the widespread success of the marijuana industry in states like Washington, California and Colorado, more states are starting to see just how much weed can make for their state. Needless to say, when purchasing marijuana from any state-licensed dispensary, expect to pay some taxes. In Maryland, you will first be subject to the state’s 9% sales tax on any purchase. On top of this, you will be charged an excise tax of $30 per ounce of flower.
Under Maryland state law, medical marijuana patients may carry up to 120 grams (4 ounces) of marijuana flower. If purchasing cannabis extracts, patients are allowed up to 36 grams per month. If you feel that these amounts do not meet your needs, your recommending physician may certify you to possess more than the allotted 4 ounces.
If you are stopped by law enforcement while carrying medical marijuana, you are not required to disclose any medical information, even if you are currently in the possession of marijuana. You do not have to consent to a search if asked by the officer. If medical marijuana is found during a search, remain calm and simply give the officer your patient ID card or refer the officer to the marijuana commission’s online database.
Currently, Maryland state law does not have any legal marijuana consumption bars or cafes. The only legal place you may smoke marijuana is within a private residence. Even then, you are still subject to some guidelines. If you rent a home, apartment or condo, you are prohibited from smoking marijuana flower within the residence if your lease agreement prohibits marijuana. However, state law specifies that vaping marijuana products in a rented home is allowable.
Remember that using any form of marijuana product in a public place is illegal, including inside your car.
Areas in Maryland that DO NOT allow the use of marijuana:
Areas in Maryland that DO allow the use of marijuana:
While recreational marijuana has been legalized in the state, it remains a federal crime. For this reason, using any marijuana product on federal land is highly illegal. This includes any national park, forest, monument and more.
As recreational marijuana is not yet legal in the state of Maryland, medical marijuana is the only legal option. To obtain a medical marijuana recommendation in the state, follow these steps:
If you receive an MMJ certification, make sure you use it within 120 days or it will become void.
Under state law, out-of-state medical patients may register with the MMCC to receive medical marijuana in the state of Maryland. Unfortunately, as of December 2017, the state has placed a hold on out-of-state applications until further notice.
Similar to laws governing the transportation of alcohol, MMJ patients must keep their marijuana in a sealed container when driving. The safest way to transport marijuana is to keep your weed in the trunk in the container provided by the dispensary until you get home.
Even if you are medically certified to use marijuana in the state of Maryland, driving while high is always illegal. There is no legal limit to THC, so driving with trace amounts of THC in your bloodstream is illegal. Be highly cautious about driving if you have consumed marijuana in the last few hours as it could land you in some serious trouble. If you have been smoking, we highly recommend checking out some of the state’s awesome public transportation options rather than driving.
While medical marijuana is legal in the state of Maryland, it remains illegal under federal law. When crossing state lines, you are subject to federal jurisdiction. As such, transporting marijuana over state lines, even to another legalized state, is federally illegal.
Medical marijuana patients are not authorized to grow marijuana in the state. Only a state-licensed cultivator may grow marijuana in Maryland.