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Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in Maryland

Home to six million residents, Maryland continues its long history of water-bound shipping and tourism. Nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and the nation's capital, Maryland continues to be an influential force in the mid-Atlantic east coast. Joining over half the nation, Maryland lawmakers have started to come around to the benefits of medical marijuana.

Is marijuana legal in Maryland?
The "Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission," passed by Maryland legislators, legalized the limited use of marijuana for medical purposes.
When did marijuana become legal in Maryland?
Lawmakers in the state first passed legal protections for patients in 2011, allowing patients to assert an affirmative defense should they be caught using marijuana. In 2013, the state would become further immersed in medical marijuana, passing the medical marijuana program. In both 2014 and 2015, the program was revised to expand patient access and adherence to the program.
Where are the dispensaries in Maryland?
Maryland issues licenses to growing centers separately from dispensary locations and each has a different limit on how many may operate in the state. While no dispensary locations have yet opened as of April 2017, the rules for licensing of dispensaries allow as many as two (2) dispensary locations per Senate district. Additionally, growers are limited to 15 licenses total across the state.

The medical marijuana commission has pre-approved 102 dispensary licenses, with the possibility of up to seven more, for a total of 109 licensed dispensaries.
Are they MED or REC dispensaries?
Once operational, dispensary locations will be able to sell medical marijuana and marijuana-infused products to registered patients and caregivers.
Who can be a medical patient in Maryland?
Maryland's medical marijuana program allows patients to be registered only after being certified by a physician as suffering from one of the following medical conditions, diseases, or treatments:
  • Terminal or end-of-life care
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
Additionally, any condition, disease, or treatment thereof producing any of the following symptoms may qualify a person for the program:
  • Cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome
  • Anorexia
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Persistent and severe muscle spasms
  • How do I become a medical patient in Maryland?
    Maryland has not yet opened the medical marijuana patient registry. When they do, the process will go like this:
    1. Register with the Maryland medical marijuana commission. This will provide you with a Commission-assigned identification number.
    2. Meet with your physician. Should they agree you may receive therapeutic benefit from marijuana use, they must submit an online certification, linking the certification to the Commission-assigned identification number to the certification in the process.
    3. Make purchases at a licensed dispensary
    Minors under 18 may be registered with the medical marijuana program, given their parent or legal guardian is the minor's designated caregiver and purchases all marijuana or marijuana-infused products on the child's behalf.
    Where can I smoke?
    Cannabis smoking by registered patients cannot be done in any public place or while inside of any vehicle. Additionally, landlords may prohibit the smoking of cannabis in their lease agreements, but may not prohibit medical use in edible or non-smoked forms.
    How much does marijuana cost in Maryland?
    As of April 2017, Maryland has yet to open any dispensary locations, making pricing data unavailable. It is reported that marijuana from illegal sources in Maryland can cost between $35-$50 per 1/8th and between $250-$350 per ounce on average.
    How much marijuana can I buy and possess in Maryland?
    Maryland allows patients to purchase and possess up to a 30-day supply. The Commission has determined this to mean as much as 120 grams of flower cannabis, just over 4.25 ounces per month. Recognizing the difference between full-flower cannabis and infused products, the Commission has ruled no dispensary location may sell more than 36 grams (36,000 mg) of THC in a 30-day period.
    Can I grow marijuana? How many plants?
    No. At this time, marijuana may only be cultivated by licensed growers.
    How do I get a job in the marijuana industry of Maryland?
    Dispensary agents and growing center employees are required to do a background check and register with the Commission before a dispensary may hire them. Additionally, employees must be drug tested prior to beginning work. Applicants must be 21 or older and can never have been convicted of a felony offense. Application fees are $200 and registrations must be renewed every year.
    Is Drug testing for marijuana legal in Maryland?
    While employers are not generally tolerant of on-the-job impairment, it is unclear if medical patients will be protected from discrimination via drug testing.
    Is Delivery legal?
    Delivery of medical marijuana will be legal once dispensary locations begin to open.
    How to pay for marijuana in Maryland dispensaries?
    Once dispensary locations begin to open doors to registered patients, it is expected sales will be done mostly in cash.

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    Maryland Marijuana Laws

    Maryland passed the "Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission" in 2013, formally ordering the state to create, establish, and oversee a system of licensing and registration for patients, caregivers, employees, and businesses related to the medical use of cannabis.

    The program is not yet operational, despite four years having passed. No patients have been registered and no dispensaries have been opened. While the end of Summer 2017 is expected to mark the launch of the first patient purchases, the laws have been finalized for the program. Here is what you can expect:

    Purchase and Possession Limits
    Patients and caregivers may purchase up to a 30-day supply. As defined by the medical marijuana Commission, a 30-day supply is equal to 120 grams of marijuana flower or as much as 36 grams of THC or THC-infused products.

    Under decriminalization in Maryland, any person who is neither a patient nor a caregiver caught in possession of 10 grams or less is subject to a civil fine of $100. Any individual caught with any amount above 10 grams but below fifty pounds of cannabis may be subject to a misdemeanor charge, fine of $1,000, and up to a full year in jail.
    Driving while Intoxicated
    Medical patients and non-patients alike are prohibited from operating a car, motor vehicle, boat, or aircraft while under the influence of marijuana.

    For the first offense, drugged driving is penalized by misdemeanor criminal charges, fines up to $1,000, and up to one-year imprisonment. Additionally, a person caught driving while under the influence of marijuana can have their license suspended for up to 45 days and may have to participate in a drug & alcohol education program.
    Driving while in possession of marijuana
    Marijuana products may be transported by patients, caregivers, and dispensary employees. While inside the vehicle, patients cannot smoke marijuana and medical marijuana products should never leave the state.

    A person who is not a patient, caregiver, or an employee permitted to transport marijuana may find themselves subject to the penalties for possession as defined above.
    Marijuana Use by Minors
    Minors under 18 can be registered in the Maryland medical marijuana program, but only if the parent or legal guardian consents to the treatment, registers as the minor's caregiver, and purchases all marijuana or marijuana-infused products for the minor.

    Possession of marijuana by a non-patient minor is subject to the same possession rules contained above, but with a small twist: those 21 and under are required to take a drug and alcohol education program.
    Growing Marijuana at Home
    Patients and their designated caregiver are unable to grow marijuana at this time. Only licensed growers may cultivate marijuana legally in Maryland.

    If a person is caught growing marijuana, penalties are based on total weight. If the marijuana is for personal use, any amount over 10 grams but no more than 50 pounds may be subject to fines up to $1,000, misdemeanor charges, and up to 12 month in jail. If the marijuana was intended for sale by an unlicensed grower, felony charges, five years in prison, and fines up to $15,000 are possible.
    Places to Consume Legally
    Marijuana cannot be consumed in any form at dispensary location. Additionally, marijuana cannot be smoked in a motor vehicle or in any place public and may be forbidden by landlords in the rental agreement.

    Maryland Marijuana Prices and Economic Data

    With a population of six (6) million, Maryland has huge potential as a cannabis market. Having legalized medical use of marijuana in 2013, the state has been building the rules and regulations for years, and yet, not a single patient has been registered in the program.

    As of April 2017, Maryland does not apply sales or use tax to the sales of medical marijuana. The program permits as many as two (2) dispensary locations per senate district and a total of 15 growers, allowing the state to operate over 100 dispensaries total.
    Estimated Sales & Patient Volume
    In other states with similar population sizes, between 1.5% and 2.1% of the total population enroll in the program. At the current population of six million, the estimated patient total in Maryland is between 90,000-126,000. If Maryland dispensary pricing reflects the reported street prices of cannabis in the state, an ounce will cost between $250-$350 depending on the quality or strain.

    Patients may purchase as much as 120 grams (just around 4.25 ounces) of marijuana in any 30-day period. If we assume the typical patient will use two ounces per month and use $300/ oz as our estimate, annual sales could reach between $648-$907 million just a few years after the program is fully operational.

    Marijuana Activities: Things to do in Maryland

    One of the original 13 colonies, Maryland is home to beaches, bays, rivers, and islands as well as professional sports, world-class art, and nationally renowned colleges and universities. As the east coast continues to roll out marijuana-friendly policy, the region is expected to develop a variety of cannabis-related festivals, events, activities, and expos. Until then, Maryland has a number of incredible sights and experiences to fill the time.
    The National Aquarium
    The 37-year old National Aquarium is home to over 20,000 fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and marine mammals. As the largest paid attraction in Maryland, the aquarium has seen over 51 million visitors since opening doors in 1981. The only Aquarium currently in the US granted "National" status by Congress, the Aquarium is one of East Coast's most important conservation efforts, including rescuing animals, reducing trash, planting grasses, trees, and shrubs in the wetlands, and developing and engaging in education programs.
    The Walters Art Museum
    A world famous collection, the Walters Art Museum displays a comprehensive review of world art through a number of exhibits. The museum is an exploration of over 35,000 different objects, including sculptures, paintings, and various other treasures dating from 5,000 years ago all the way to 20th-century Europe.
    Ocean City Beach
    A summertime favorite, Ocean City Beach is truly the ideal American coastline. Featuring majestic sunrises, miles of beaches, one of the top 10 boardwalks in America, and even an amusement park, the Ocean City Beach can easily fill an afternoon or full weekend with fun.

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