Maryland

Marijuana Laws

What you need to know as a marijuana patient

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Program

Maryland’s marijuana laws have undergone significant changes throughout the last decade. In 2010, the State of Maryland spent $106,702,784 in enforcing cannabis laws. It is one of the 12 states with the highest arrest in 2010 for marijuana possession. Maryland was the fifth-highest with a 409 arrest rate per 100,000 residents, followed by Illinois who has 389 per 100,000 residents.

Although authorities have approved the MMP through HB881, known as the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, in April 2014, it became fully operational three years after when the first dispensaries in Maryland opened in December 2017.

With many laws and policies covering the medical cannabis program in Maryland, it is straightforward that one may forget and unintentionally violate the law. You can read the full rules and regulations from their official website, but you can always read the summarized policies we purposely outlined on this page.

Program Approval Date

April 2014

Patient ID Card Validity

36 months

Application Fee

$50

Certification Renewal

Annually*

* The MMP-issued Identification Card expiry date may vary. Your physician’s recommendation, along with your medical marijuana purchasing rights, are only valid for 1 year. Following that, we recommend you book a re-evaluation with our licensed doctors. 

Being a Responsible MMJ Patient in MD

While having a Maryland medical marijuana ID card is an incredible boon for your health and well-being, you should be aware of the great responsibility that your patient status carries with it. As a law-abiding Maryland patient, you take note of the following while you are undergoing your medical cannabis treatment:

  • Your patient status grants you the right to possess a specific quantity of cannabis over a 30-day period. Depending on your treatment requirements, this quantity will likely vary on a case-by-case scenario. However, you have NO legal right to possess anything exceeding your explicitly set limit. 

  • Your patient status does NOT give you the right to grow medical cannabis plants in Maryland. Any and all medical cannabis you intend to use needs to be acquired through legal purchase from a state-approved dispensary. 

  • In Maryland, possession of a controlled substance such as hashish and/or cannabis concentrates falls under the same Schedule I Drug regulations as typical marijuana. Therefore, if your medical treatment includes products that are hashish-based OR made from any other type of marijuana concentrate, know that the penalties for unlawful use remain the same.

  • The only authorized locations for your medical marijuana purchases are state-approved dispensaries. Personal sales are highly prohibited by the court of law and you should NOT engage with them in any way, shape, or form, else you risk being charged with a sentence for possession with intent to distribute.  

  • Interaction of any kind with marijuana paraphernalia products is NOT necessary for your medical treatment. You have no legal excuse for being found in possession of such an item, or, even worse, to be using it for your own product manufacturing.

With all of this in mind, we have listed the three main types of marijuana penalties that Maryland’s marijuana laws can hold you accountable for.

Types of Maryland marijuana penalties:

Possession

Distribution / Intent to Sell

Paraphernalia

Possession

Maryland Marijuana Laws

As a patient, Maryland’s medical marijuana laws state that you are not to exceed the physician-imposed 30-day  limit of marijuana that you are allowed to acquire and possess. If you are found in violation of that specified quantity, which would exceed the bottom limit of 10 grams, exposes you to the following legal penalties:

2013 Maryland Code Criminal Law § 5-402 – listed marijuana as a Schedule I controlled risky substance by the federal government.

  • Owning no more than 10 grams in Maryland (without any purpose to share) is a civil offense. 
  • Carrying out marijuana between 10 grams and not more than 50 pounds is a misdemeanor that will penalize a fine of not more than $1,000.00 with a sanction of up to one year in jail.
  • Possession of marijuana weighing 50 pounds or more sentence the carrier of five years minimum in prison and a penalty of up to $100,000.00
  • Authorities will impose a fine of up to $500.00 on anyone involved in using marijuana in public.
Offense Penalty Jail Time Max. Fine
Possession
≤ 10 grams Civil Offense None $100.00
10 g – <50 lbs Misdemeanor One year $1,000.00
≥ 50 lbs Felony Five years* $100,000.00
Using marijuana in public areas carries a civil fine of not more than $500.00
Increased penalty for succeeding offense
*Required minimum sentence

Distribution/Intent to Sell

Maryland Marijuana Laws

 The distribution of marijuana falls into two distinct categories as per Maryland’s drug laws: distribution with the intent to sell, and trafficking. Take note of the specific laws and regulations for each:

Sale and Distribution

  • First offenders, up to 20 years in jail and a penalty of not more than $20,000.00
  • If the State convicted a person of carrying out marijuana to distribute, the person must spend a minimum sentence of 2 years in prison.
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to disburse of not more than 50 pounds in Maryland is considered a felony with a sentence of a maximum of 5 years in jail and a penalty not more than $15,000.00
  • Carrying out 50 pounds or more of marijuana is sentenced to not less than five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.00
  • Suppose the Commission recognized an individual as a ‘drug mogul‘ or an organizer, financier, or manager involved in a conspiracy to produce, distribute, or transport marijuana and dealt with not less than 50 pounds of marijuana. In that case, they are guilty of a felony and will have a penalty of not more than $1,000,000.00 and subject to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum of 40 years without a possibility of parole.
  • Carrying out marijuana to disburse in a school bus, vehicle, or property owned or rented by a school, whether its elementary or secondary school, is a felony and is sentenced to:
  • For each subsequent violation, an offender may be sentenced to five – 40 years of imprisonment. And a fine of not more than $40,000.00
  • Suppose an adult asks and uses a minor in a conspiracy to disburse, transport, and produce marijuana. In that case, the adult is guilty of a felony and will have to pay a fine not more than $20,000 or imprisonment of not more than 20 years.
  • Cultivation in Maryland is prohibited and is punishable by law. Authorities determined the penalties by the amount a person cultivates and some other factors that may lead to a judgment that the marijuana is grown, not just for personal use.
  • Hash and Concentrates are also illegal in Maryland and are penalized at the same level as plant-form marijuana in the 2013 Maryland Code Criminal Law § 5-402 Schedule I prohibited substances.

Trafficking

 

  • If a person enters the State with more than 5 kg of marijuana but less than 45 kilograms, then that person will be charged guilty of a felony and is subject to not more than 10 years of imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00
  • If a person enters the State of Maryland with not less than 45 kg of marijuana, then they will be charged guilty of a felony and are subject to not more than 25 years of imprisonment and a fine not more than $50,000.00
  • Suppose a person possesses any firearm while being arrested for trafficking marijuana into the State. In that case, authorities may charge that person guilty of a felony and may spend 5 to 20 years in jail and 10- 20 years for succeeding violations.

 

Offense

Penalty

Jail Time

Max. Fine

Possession – With Intent to Distribute

≤ 50 lbs

Felony

5 years

$15,000.00

≥ 50 lbs**

Felony

5 years**

$15,000.00

> 50 lbs

(‘drug mogul’)

Felony

20* – 40 years

$1,000,000.00

In school vehicle or within 1,000 feet of a school premises

Felony

20 years

$20,000.00

Succeeding violation

Felony

5* – 40 years

$40,000.00

Using a minor

Felony

20 years

$20,000.00

*Required minimum sentence

** Succeeding violation carries a required minimum sentence of 2 years.

Cultivation of marijuana is treated in the same regard as possession and/or distribution, for legal penalty purposes, but other factors, such as cultivated quantity, may be relevant. 

Hash and Concentrates are treated in the same regard as plant-form marijuana, as per the 2013 Maryland Code Criminal Law § 5-402 Schedule I prohibited substances.

 

 

 

Offense

Penalty

Jail Time

Max. Fine

Trafficking

5 – 45 kg

Felony

Ten years

$10,000.00

≥ 45 kg 

Felony

25 years

$50,000.00

Possession of firearms while trafficking

Felony

5* – 20 years

N/a

*Required minimum sentence

 

Paraphernalia

Maryland Marijuana Laws

Maryland law makes it so simple possession of drug-related paraphernalia is treated as a civil violation with no imprisonment period, and a maximum legal fine of $500. However, the types of offenses extend beyond that:

  • If an individual is found guilty of selling and/or advertising marijuana paraphernalia, authorities will penalize them for not more than $500 for the first violation.
  • For succeeding offenses, the offender will be subject to an imprisonment of not more than two years and a fine, not more than $2,000.00.
  • Delivery of paraphernalia to a minor at least 3 years younger than the offender will result in a misdemeanor charge, which is punishable with a sentence of up to 8 years in prison, and an accompanying legal fine of up to $15,000. 
  • Offenders who are found in possession of controlled marijuana paraphernalia will be charged with a misdemeanor which is punishable with a sentence of up to 1 year in prison, as well as a legal fine of up to $1,000.
    Offense Penalty Jail Time Max. Fine
    Paraphernalia
    Possession of drug paraphernalia Civil Violation None $500
    Advertising and Selling of Drug Paraphernalia Misdemeanor None $500
    Succeeding Violation Misdemeanor Two years $2,000.00
    Selling to minor at least three years younger to them Misdemeanor Eight years $15,000.00
    Possession/Sale of controlled paraphernalia Misdemeanor One year $1,000.00

     

    FAQ

    Maryland Marijuana Laws

    Questions about MD Laws and Regulations

    While the penalties for each medical marijuana law are highly important to take note of, we know that state regulations do not always cover the niche cases.

    Below you can find a list of potential FAQs that you might have regarding the current state of medical marijuana in Maryland:

    Is weed legal in Maryland?

    Yes and no. Marijuana used for medicinal purposes is legal through registration with the Maryland MMP. However, recreational weed is still illegal at a state-wide level in Maryland.

    Can I use a Marijuana Medical Card from another state?

    No. Currently, Maryland does not support medical marijuana reciprocity. Thus, out-of-state patients do not enjoy the same medical marijuana privileges as MMCC ID cardholders.

    Is marijuana decriminalized in Maryland?

    Yes, for three types of infractions:

    • Possession of 10 or less grams
    • Simple possession of paraphernalia
    • Public consumption

    In all of these cases, the resulting penalty is a civil offense with a maximum legal fine of $500. 

     

    If you have a medical card, where can you smoke?

    Qualified MD patients may only use medical marijuana on private property. Public consumption of marijuana carries a civil fine of up to $500. Also, your car, airplane, or boat is considered a public place. So, it is best to enjoy your medicine in the comfort of your home with full legal protection.

    Is CBD legal in Maryland?

    Patients with a Maryland Medical Cannabis ID Card can buy, possess and use CBD products. For example, CBD capsules, salve, or lotion. Above all, these products must be extracted from industrial hemp that meets legal requirements.

    Register for your Maryland medical cannabis certification and get $30 worth of free CBD.
    Courtesy of InstacraftCBD—for the best quality pure CBD oil.

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