Yo, what’s good? My name’s Dan and if you’re like me, you might be thinking about hitting up Maryland for a good time. But before you do, you gotta wonder – is weed legal in Maryland? ‘Cause let’s face it, none of us wanna get caught up with the law while we’re tryna have a good time.
So, I did some research and I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about weed in Maryland.
First things first, let’s take it back to the start. Maryland might be small, but it’s got a big history with cannabis. It used to be illegal and all that jazz, but as the years went on, the government started to loosen up on that front.
Here’s a quick rundown of Maryland’s timeline with cannabis:
Back in 2010, Maryland was one of the top states for arrests related to marijuana possession. They had around 409 arrests per 100,000 residents.
But in 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley signed a law decriminalizing possession of less than 10 grams of weed. This meant that if you got caught with a little bit of weed, it’d be like getting hit with a traffic ticket.
Then in 2016, Maryland passed Senate Bill (SB) 517 which allowed for paraphernalia (like bongs and pipes) to be used with marijuana. And that was also when they gave the green light for medical marijuana in the state.
In 2017, five years after they passed the medical marijuana law, Maryland dispensaries finally started selling weed!
Fast forward to two years later and Maryland’s cannabis program had expanded to include 82 licensed dispensaries and over 70,000 registered patients.
So what does all this mean for you? Is weed legal in Maryland or not?
Well, the short answer is no – recreational weed is not yet legal in Maryland. But don’t worry, there’s good news too! A referendum passed in November 2022 which means that starting July 1st, 2023, recreational cannabis will become legal for adults aged 21 or older!
But wait, there’s more! Let me break it down for you.
In 2019, the Marijuana Legalization Workgroup started thinking about how they could legalize weed for adults in the state. Two years later, in 2021, State Senator Brian Feldman introduced Senate Bill (SB) 708 which aimed to do just that. Then Prince George’s County Democrat Jazz Lewis introduced House Bill (HB) 32 which also sought to legalize adult consumption and possession of marijuana.
After some back and forth between these two bills, Adrienne Jones (the MD House of Delegates Speaker) announced that there would be a referendum on the issue. The referendum passed in November 2022 and now recreational cannabis will become legal in Maryland starting July 1st, 2023.
So what happens if you get caught with weed in Maryland right now? If you’re caught with less than 10 grams of weed right now it’s considered a civil infraction which means you’ll have to attend an education program and pay up to $100 fine. After July 1st though, possession of up to 1.5 ounces (about 43 grams) will only result in a civil offense.
But hold up – just because weed will be legal soon doesn’t mean you can go around smoking it wherever you want! Consuming or smoking cannabis in any form is still illegal right now. So don’t go lighting up on the streets just yet!
And one last thing – if you wanna buy weed from a dispensary right now, you’ll need a medical marijuana card. After July 1st though, anyone aged 21 or older will be able to purchase cannabis without needing a card.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about weed in Maryland! Just remember that until July 1st rolls around, recreational cannabis is still illegal so be careful out there.