Maryland voters approved a referendum to legalize adult-use cannabis on November 8, 2022, but legalization will not take effect until July 1, 2023. Maryland does have a medical cannabis program and participants can possess a 30-day supply of marijuana. Flower and infused products, defined as oil, wax, ointment, salve, tincture, capsule, suppository, dermal patch, cartridge, or other product, but not food items, are allowed under Maryland law. For recreational users, possession of small amounts of marijuana (less than 10 g) has been decriminalized and may result in a $100 fine. As of January 1, 2023 and until July 1, 2023, possession of up to 1.5 oz will be punishable by a $100 fine, while possession of more than 1.5 oz but less than 2.5 oz will be punishable by a $250 fine. The possession of larger amounts of marijuana (provided it is under 50 lbs) is a misdemeanor offense punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 50 lbs is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and a fine of $100,000.
Cultivation of marijuana is illegal, even for patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal program. The punishment is based on the total weight of the plants.
To recommend cannabis, MDs (including dentists, podiatrists) and registered nurses (RNs) must have an active, unrestricted license and be in good standing with state boards. Properly licensed RNs must also have unrestricted licenses to practice as nurse practitioners or nurse midwives. Additionally, medical professionals must register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission at the following site: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/physicians.aspx
Cannabis may be recommended to treat the following qualifying conditions:
• Cachexia or wasting syndrome
• Chronic pain
• PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
• Severe or persistent muscle spasms
Additionally, cannabis may be used to treat severe conditions for which other treatment options have been ineffective.
Maryland does not have a reciprocity program to accommodate some medical marijuana patients from out of state.
To learn more about the state’s program, see the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/home.aspx.