Marijuana is legal for adults and is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol; state also has a medical marijuana law
Last update: November 27, 2022
Maryland becomes the 20th state to legalize cannabis for adults!
On Election Day, voters in Maryland overwhelmingly approved 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. 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.
Yes on 4 ballot campaign launches to legalize cannabis for adults!
Earlier this year, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to place a ballot question to legalize cannabis for adults before the voters this November. With Election Day approaching, the campaign to legalize cannabis for adults in Maryland recently launched statewide with a campaign video and website promoting the passage of Question 4.
Former Baltimore Raven Eugene Monroe, an outspoken advocate for marijuana policy and criminal justice reform, chairs the campaign. Marylanders will have the opportunity to legalize cannabis for adults over 21 years old if the question passes.
“Legalizing cannabis would stimulate Maryland’s economy and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, while allowing Maryland residents to benefit from vital investments in education, public health, and public safety funded by cannabis taxes,” said Chairman Monroe. “Passing Question 4 will put an end to the failed criminalization of cannabis, create a well-regulated legal marijuana market centered around equity, and open up new doors for local entrepreneurs and small business owners. I hope every Marylander will vote yes on Question 4 this November.”
Maryland voters will decide on legalization in November!
On Friday, April 1, 2022, the legislature approved HB 1 — which will refer the question of legalization to voters on the November ballot.
On Friday, April 8, 2022, Gov. Hogan let HB 837 — legislation that would take effect if voters approve legalization — become law without his signature. If voters approve HB 1 on the ballot, HB 837 would allow residents 21 and older to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces and cultivate up to two plants beginning July 1, 2023. The bills also include limited expungement, funding for minority- and women-owned businesses, and a community reinvestment and repair fund.
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, 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.
Gov. Hogan allows improvements to medical cannabis program to become law without his signature
On May 7, 2020, Gov. Hogan allowed HB 617/ SB 604, “Connor and Raina’s Law,” to become law without his signature. The bill allows for the administration of medical cannabis to students who are qualifying patients during school hours and school-sponsored events.
In other news, a bill that allows physician assistants to be certifying providers also became law without the governor’s signature. The new law went into effect on October 1, 2020.
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