Marijuana is legal for adults and is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol; state also has a medical marijuana law
Last update: March 20, 2023
House approves bill to legalize regulated cannabis sales for adults!
Last year, Maryland voters voted overwhelmingly in favor (67.2 percent) of Question 4 — a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis for adults in Maryland beginning July 1, 2023. In fact, the passage of Question 4 was the highest margin of any ballot measure to legalize cannabis.
On Friday, March 10, the House of Delegates approved (103-32) HB 556. Meanwhile, the Senate version is awaiting approval by the Senate Finance Committee.
In addition to the omnibus implementation bill, several bills have been introduced to improve criminal justice aspects of the legalization law that passed last year. You can check out a full list of 2023 cannabis reform bills here.
Maryland becomes the 20th state to legalize cannabis for adults!
On Election Day, voters in Maryland overwhelmingly approved (67.2 percent) Question 4 — a legislatively referred ballot question to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and over. Maryland is now the 20th state to legalize cannabis for adult use. The passage of Question 4 was the highest margin of any ballot measure to legalize cannabis.
Beginning July 1, 2023, adults will be able to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to two plants in Maryland. A summary of Question 4, and the companion bill to begin implementing it, is available here.
MPP leads the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition, which for years has been advocating for equitable legalization. This advocacy spurred Maryland state lawmakers to refer Question 4 to the 2022 ballot and pass the companion bill to set up the initial steps for legalization. MPP also played an instrumental role in assisting the Yes on 4 campaign to ensure Question 4’s success.
Legislature overrides governor's veto to shield past cannabis convictions
Just before the legislature adjourned its shortened 2020 session, lawmakers approved a bill — HB 83 — that would automatically shield past cannabis charges occurring before October 1, 2014 in which possession was the only charge in the case. Sadly, former Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the legislation.
However, the legislature overrode Gov. Hogan’s veto during the 2021 session, and the bill became law on February 12, 2021.
HB 83 will shield nearly 200,000 past cannabis possession charges from public view on the Judiciary’s “Case Search” website. Unfortunately, this is not a full record expungement. Full record expungement of marijuana possession is available by application after four years. You can find more information on expungement here.
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