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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Maryland Embraces Adult-Use Marijuana Legalization Laws

Key Takeaways:

  • Adult-use marijuana legalization laws take effect in Maryland on July 1st.
  • Adults aged 21 or older can possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates.
  • Home-cultivation of up to two mature plants is permitted in private residences.
  • Existing state-licensed medical operators can now serve non-patients.
  • A referendum approved by voters in November led to the establishment of rules and regulations for the production and sale of cannabis to adults.
  • Legislation reducing penalties for public cannabis use will also go into effect on July 1st.

Maryland marijuana laws

In a momentous development, Maryland has officially enacted new legislation that permits adult-use marijuana legalization in the state, granting adults the freedom to possess, cultivate, and purchase personal-use quantities of cannabis. Effective July 1st, individuals aged 21 and above will be legally entitled to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates. Moreover, adults will have the privilege to cultivate up to two mature plants within the privacy of their own homes.

In addition to the possession and home-cultivation provisions, separate legislation will also come into effect on July 1st. This legislation grants existing state-licensed medical operators the opportunity to serve non-patients and opens the doors for a maximum of 300 cannabis retailers to operate throughout Maryland.

Acknowledging Maryland’s stride towards cannabis legalization, Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of a prominent organization, expressed his support: “Maryland residents, in line with the majority of Americans, embrace cannabis legalization and regulation as they move away from the outdated policies of criminalization and stigmatization.”

Furthermore, starting July 1st, a new law will reduce penalties for public cannabis use. Under this law, the public use of cannabis will result in a civil fine of either $50 (for a first offense) or $150 (for subsequent offenses). Additionally, the law prohibits law enforcement officers from conducting vehicle or individual searches solely based on the odor of marijuana.

The implementation of these adult-use marijuana legalization laws is a direct result of a successful referendum held in November, known as Question 4. Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved this referendum, which instructed state lawmakers to establish regulations for the production and sale of cannabis to adults. This approval triggered the enactment of separate legislation, known as HB 837, which sets the possession limits for adult-use cannabis.

Earlier this year, in May, state lawmakers further solidified these advancements by approving Senate Bill 516, which effectively regulates the adult-use market in Maryland.

These new laws symbolize a significant shift towards a more progressive and enlightened approach to cannabis in Maryland, distancing itself from the outdated practices of criminalization and stigmatization. By implementing adult-use marijuana legalization, the state aims to provide its residents with safe and regulated access to the cannabis market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Who is allowed to possess and cultivate marijuana in Maryland?

Individuals aged 21 and above are legally permitted to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates. Additionally, they are entitled to cultivate up to two mature plants within their private residences.

How many cannabis retailers will operate in Maryland?

The new legislation allows for a maximum of 300 cannabis retailers to operate throughout the state.

What are the penalties for public cannabis use in Maryland?

Starting July 1st, public cannabis use will incur a civil fine of either $50 (for a first offense) or $150 (for subsequent offenses).

Can law enforcement officers search vehicles or individuals based on the smell of marijuana?

No, the new legislation explicitly prohibits law enforcement officers from conducting vehicle or individual searches solely based on the odor of marijuana.

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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