Happy Maryland Day: The Road to Recreational Cannabis in Maryland

Wishing Our Maryland Staff and Patients a Happy Maryland Day!

Maryland Day is a holiday that commemorates the founding of the English colony of Maryland. In 1634, a group of settlers, led by Leonard Calvert, arrived at what is now St. Mary’s County, Maryland  – in two ships, the Ark and the Dove. 

Following their arrival on the island they named it St. Clement’s Island and held a day of Thanksgiving for their safe travels on March 25, 1634. That is the reason we celebrate Maryland Day on March 25 each year.

That is why, in honor of this special day, Bloom would like to take a moment to express how thankful we are for our medical marijuana patients and our dedicated staff at our Germantown, Maryland dispensary.

With that said, let’s take a look at what Maryland Day is all about.

When and What is Maryland Day?

Maryland Day was first observed in 1903. That’s when the State Board of Education selected March 25 as the day Marylanders would celebrate the state’s rich history and cultural heritage each year. 

Maryland Day officially became a legal holiday in the state in 1916 and has been celebrated each year on March 25. Since then, it’s become a day that not only commemorates Maryland’s rich history but also celebrates its unique culture.

Communities throughout Maryland hold special events, such as parades, reenactments, and historical tours, to mark the occasion. In addition to celebrating the state’s rich history, Maryland Day is also an opportunity to learn more about the role Maryland has played in the culture and development of the United States.

For example, the state’s role in helping to bring an end to cannabis prohibition.

Celebrating Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Past and Recreational Future

It may surprise you that back in the early days of the Maryland settlement, cannabis – or hemp as it was called back then – was legal. In fact in the 1600s farmers were actually mandated to grow hemp. 

Maryland was not alone either. Other colonies like Jamestown also required farmers to grow hemp. You see, back then hemp was an important crop for the young colonies. It was used to make fibers for clothing, ropes, and sails. 

It was such an important crop that George Washington grew it at his Mount Vernon estate.

Learn more about: The History of Cannabis in the USA.

Hemp’s Role as A Cash Crop for Colonial America

Throughout the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s hemp was valued as food, medicine, and as an important cash crop. But just as our country was beginning to realize hemp’s true potential, sentiment for hemp and cannabis began to change in the early 1900s.

That’s when the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 essentially made hemp illegal in the U.S. Then in the 1950’s, federal laws were put in place requiring anyone convicted of marijuana possession to serve a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and pay up to $20,000 in fines. 

Maryland’s Role in Ending Cannabis Prohibition

Maryland’s role in helping to bring an end to cannabis prohibition can be traced back to the early 1980s. That’s when Kurt Schmoke, the Mayor of Baltimore, became known for supporting the decriminalization of cannabis – claiming it would be better for our country than Nixon’s War on Drugs. 

Despite mayor Schmoke’s efforts, cannabis remained illegal in Maryland for the next few decades. And by 2010, Maryland ranked at the top of the list for number of arrests for marijuana possession in the country.1

The Beginning of Legalized Marijuana in Maryland

Things began to change in May 2003. That’s when Governor Bob Ehrlich signed a bill which instituted a maximum fine of $100 for those caught using marijuana for pain relief. This legislation, however, did not protect medical marijuana users from arrest. 

In May of 2013, Governor O’Malley signed legislation that established a medical marijuana program in the state. Then in 2014, Governor O’Malley signed House Bill 881 which allowed for the creation of a medical cannabis infrastructure in Maryland.

In 2016, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission started awarding preliminary licenses to grow and process medical marijuana flower and products. And on December 1st, 2017 Maryland’s medical marijuana program became operational.

At the time, the State of Maryland only awarded licenses to nine dispensaries. 

Proudly Serving Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Patients Since 2018

Bloom was one of the companies awarded a medical marijuana dispensary license. Led by our CEO, Nicole Stark, we successfully navigated the state’s license application process and were awarded a dispensary license. Since January 11, 2018, Bloom has provided medical marijuana patients with compassionate care and access to premium medicinal cannabis at our Bloom Germantown Dispensary

Is Weed Legal in Maryland?

Although voters approved a bill that will make the recreational use of cannabis legal in Maryland, it remains illegal, but decriminalized, until July 2023. Decriminalization means that the possession of 10 grams or less is a civil offense, carrying a fine of up to $100, but does not result in a criminal record.

Once recreational cannabis is legalized in July, those 21 years of age or older will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use. It’s important to note that the possession of larger amounts of cannabis – or selling cannabis without a license –  is still considered a criminal offense in Maryland.

What about Growing Cannabis in Maryland?

As of March 2023, only medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow their own cannabis. That’s right, medical marijuana patients in Maryland can grow up to six plants for personal medical use – or can designate a caregiver to grow six plants for them.

However, there are laws and restrictions in place related to the cultivation and use of medicinal cannabis in Maryland. So, make sure to follow them carefully to avoid legal problems. 

When Will Recreational Marijuana Be Legal in Maryland?

The official date adults in Maryland will receive access to recreational cannabis is expected to be July 1, 2023. So that’s when adults in Maryland can visit a dispensary and begin enjoying the recreational benefits of cannabis.

The exact date will depend on how long the regulatory and legislative processes take. 

Celebrate Maryland Day with Premium Cannabis from Bloom!

Maryland Day 2023 falls on a Saturday – making it an ideal day to enjoy some premium cannabis from Bloom’s Germantown Dispensary. Plus on Maryland Day, you can enjoy 25% off flower at Bloom.  

To make it extra convenient, take advantage of online ordering:

Find out If You Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card:

Renew Your Medical Marijuana Card:

Perks for First Time Medical Patients, Veterans, and Active Duty

If you’re a first time medical marijuana patient, a Military veteran or active duty – make sure to let your Bloom budtender know so you can enjoy a special discount. 

Bloom. Cannabis Done Right.

  1. History of Medical Marijuana In Maryland