In recent years, the legalization of marijuana has been a topic of much debate and legislative action across the United States. In 2023, Maryland joins the growing list of states implementing new marijuana laws.
These updated regulations bring significant changes to the cultivation, possession, and consumption of cannabis within the state’s borders. This article aims to shed light on Maryland’s new marijuana laws and explore the potential consequences they carry for individuals and the community.
The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
Effective July 1, 2023, Maryland will legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and above. This step allows adults to possess, consume, and cultivate a limited amount of cannabis within specific parameters. Here are some critical facts that you should know about the new marijuana laws.
The new law will allow adults to legally possess the following:
- Up to 1.5 oz of cannabis
- Up to 12 g of concentrated cannabis
- Products containing up to 750 mg of delta-9-THC
Growing Cannabis Plants
Under the new regulations, adults can grow up to two cannabis plants, and a qualifying medical patient can grow up to four. As a homeowner, you can grow cannabis plants according to state law. However, if you are a tenant, your landlord can ban you from growing plants, so you should review your lease and gain permission from your landlord before planting.
There are, however, specific rules that must be followed:
- The plants must be out of public view.
- The two-plant limit is per household. That means you can only grow two plants on the property regardless of the number of adults in the household.
- The four-plant limit for medical patients is also per household. Regardless of how many residents hold a medical card, only four plants can be grown on the property.
Edibles, THC Vapes, and Other Marijuana Products
Cannabis-derived products like vape cartridges, oils, and edibles will be legal for purchase under the same laws as flower. These products must meet standards set by the state to ensure they do not contain dangerous additives.
However, it’s essential to note that public consumption of marijuana remains strictly prohibited. Smoking or consuming cannabis products in public spaces, including parks, sidewalks, public transportation, inside places of employment, restaurants, and privately owned vehicles, can result in legal penalties. If one is found guilty, the penalty for a first offense could be a fine of up to $50, with subsequent violations resulting in fines of up to $150.
It’s also important to note that marijuana use is still illegal at the federal level. That means it should not be used on federal property, including national parks.
Similar to the state’s alcohol tax, there will be a 9% tax on cannabis sales. This tax revenue will fund the administration and operation expenses of the Maryland Cannabis Administration. This administration regulates the marijuana business and enforces state laws regarding the cultivation and sale of the drug.
Any remaining revenue will support repairing damage caused by the war on drugs in Maryland communities. It will address issues such as drug use and addiction in youth and support minority-owned businesses attempting to enter the cannabis industry. Some revenue will also go to the state general fund and county budgets.
When the law is enacted, you will not be able to have marijuana delivered. However, a new law was passed allowing businesses to apply for a micro-dispensary license, enabling them to have a delivery service without an actual storefront. The deadline for these licenses to be granted is January 1, 2024.
Regulations for Dispensaries and Cultivation
Maryland’s new marijuana laws also include updated regulations for dispensaries and cultivation facilities. The state’s Cannabis Commission oversees the licensing and regulation of dispensaries and ensures compliance with the law.
- Dispensaries are authorized to sell marijuana products to individuals aged 21 and older, provided they present valid identification. Strict guidelines govern the advertising and packaging of these products to prevent marketing to minors and promote responsible consumption.
- Cultivation facilities are subject to security measures, quality control, and environmental sustainability regulations. These guidelines ensure that the cultivation of cannabis adheres to safety standards and prevents the diversion of marijuana into the illicit market. Compliance with these regulations is crucial for maintaining a well-regulated and accountable cannabis industry within Maryland.
Consequences and Implications
While the new marijuana laws in Maryland bring exciting opportunities, they also carry significant consequences for those who fail to abide by them. Individuals violating the possession limits or engaging in unauthorized cultivation may face legal penalties. Depending on the severity of the offense, these penalties can range from fines to incarceration.
Moreover, driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal. Law enforcement officers have been trained to detect impairment and conduct sobriety tests to ensure road safety. Violating DUI laws can lead to license suspension, fines, mandatory drug education programs, or even imprisonment.
Additionally, employers retain the right to enforce drug-free workplace policies and may subject employees to drug testing. While the new laws protect individuals’ right to use marijuana recreationally, employers can still take disciplinary action, including termination, if drug use impairs job performance or violates company policies.
Let Jeremy Widder Law Help You Navigate Maryland’s New Marijuana Laws
Maryland’s new marijuana laws of 2023 signify a progressive step towards decriminalizing and regulating cannabis. However, individuals must understand and abide by the specific regulations to avoid legal consequences. Responsible consumption, compliance with possession limits, and adherence to workplace policies will ensure a smooth transition into this new era of marijuana regulation in Maryland.
Whether you have further questions about the legalization of marijuana or you’ve been found guilty of a marijuana-related offense, our team is here to help. Jeremy Widder Law delivers top-notch legal services backed by years of experience. We will provide you with the best legal support and the expertise you need to get your desired outcome.
Contact us today for a consultation.