It may surprise you that when Leonard Calvert first arrived at what is now St. Mary’s County, Maryland in 1634, hemp was legal in what were then the British colonies. Not only that but since it was such an important crop used to make clothing, canvas, ropes, and sails – some of the colonies actually required farmers to grow hemp.
Hemp/cannabis remained legal until the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 – which essentially made hemp illegal in the U.S.
History of Cannabis in the USA
Cannabis remained illegal in Maryland until 2017. That’s when the state launched its medical marijuana program.
To say the years between 1937 and 2017 were dark times for cannabis consumers in Maryland is no understatement. In fact, in 2010, Maryland ranked at the top of the list for number of arrests for marijuana possession in the country.
Thankfully, those times have come to an end as a result of voters approving a constitutional amendment making the recreational use of cannabis legal in Maryland.
Maryland Legal Weed
If you’re reading this after July 1st, 2023 – the possession and consumption of recreational cannabis has been legalized in Maryland for those 21 years of age or older. If you’re reading this before July 1st, 2023 – then recreational use of cannabis remains illegal but decriminalized in Maryland.
But, just because the recreational use of cannabis will be legal in July of 2023, that does not mean you can buy and possess as much marijuana as you want. There are rules and regulations in place that you need to know about to stay on the right side of the law.
Before we get to that, let’s take a look through the history of what brought us to the legalization of recreational use cannabis in Maryland.
The Road to Cannabis Legalization in Maryland
Maryland’s role in helping to bring an end to cannabis prohibition can be traced back to the early 1980s. That’s when the Mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, 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 and by 2010, Maryland ranked at the top of the list for number of arrests for marijuana possession in the country.1
Things finally began to change in May of 2003 when Governor Bob Ehrlich signed a bill instituting 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 establishing 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 Germantown Dispensary.
Maryland Weed Laws 2023
In November of 2022 voters approved an amendment to Maryland’s Constitution that will legalize the recreational use of cannabis. But it’s important to note that the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal, but decriminalized, until July 2023. Decriminalization means 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.
Recreational Weed Maryland
Once recreational cannabis becomes legal in Maryland, those 21 years of age or older will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower for personal use. They will also be allowed to possess up to 12 grams of concentrated cannabis. It’s important to note that the possession of larger amounts of cannabis – or selling cannabis without a license – will still be considered a criminal offense in Maryland.
When Will Maryland Legalize Weed?
The official date adults in Maryland will be able to legally enjoy cannabis is July 1, 2023. That’s when those who are 21 years of age or older can visit a dispensary and make a purchase in Maryland. Just make sure to bring some form of government ID, like your license or State ID card, to prove you’re over the age of 21.
Maryland Personal Cultivation
In addition to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, the constitutional amendment passed in 2022 will also make it legal for those 21 years of age or older to grow two cannabis plants for personal use. However, there are restrictions in place related to the cultivation and use of medicinal cannabis in Maryland. So, make sure to follow them to avoid legal issues.
For example, plants must be grown in an area that is out of public view and in a secured place where they are not accessible by those who are unauthorized or under the age of 21.2
No more than two cannabis plants can be grown at each residence, even if more than one adult lives there.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Cannabis Laws in Maryland:2
Q: Can I share my cannabis with friends – now that recreational cannabis is legal?
- A: Yes, Maryland’s Constitution seems to agree with our sister company – Field Trip Flower – that Trips Are Better with Buds.
- Specifically, the updated laws say that after July 1st, you can share your cannabis – within limits – with someone who’s 21 years of age or older. The amount you share must be less than 1.5 ounces. If you get caught sharing more than that, or accepting payment for your weed, it could qualify as possession with intent to distribute and could result in up to three years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Q. Can I sell small amounts of cannabis?
- A: No, selling cannabis – even a small amount – without a license remains illegal in Maryland, and could result in up to three years of prison time and a possible fine of up to $5,000.
Q. Can I smoke my weed in public?
- A: No, Maryland’s new recreational marijuana laws prohibit the smoking of cannabis in certain places, like in public. The new laws also prohibit you from smoking in a motor vehicle.
Where to Find Maryland Recreational Dispensaries
Bloom Dispensaries in Maryland
Bloom has served medical marijuana patients in Germantown, Maryland since 2018. And starting July 1st, 2023, our budtenders will be happy to help adults over the age of 21 find the cannabis flower and products they need.
So, if you want to be among the first to exercise your constitutional right to enjoy cannabis in Maryland, our team of budtenders are ready to help you find the right cannabis products for your needs.
Just make sure to bring a valid form of ID so we can confirm that you’re of age.
Bloom’s dispensary in Germantown is located at 11530 Middlebrook Road – next to the Navy Federal Credit Union – and offers the convenience of online ordering.
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.