5 Maryland Cannabis Laws You Must Know

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Medical marijuana has been legal in Maryland since 2013, but adult-use has yet to be legalized.

In this post, we’re covering the top 5 Maryland cannabis laws you need to know to stay compliant this year. You can find the full Maryland cannabis statute here and the full Maryland regulations here.

Maryland cannabis laws at a glance

  • Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, operating through the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC).

  • Recreational cannabis is illegal in the state, but possession of 10 grams or less has been decriminalized.

  • The MMCC is the regulatory agency for medical cannabis in Maryland. This regulatory agency covers all policies, procedures, and regulations for medical cannabis in Maryland.

  • Metrc is Maryland’s track and trace system.

Law #1: Qualifying patients

Law: Qualifying patient (g)(1)(i) Subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, a qualifying patient may be a patient of the certifying provider or may be referred to the certifying provider. (ii) A referral of a patient to a certifying provider under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph may not be made by any person or entity employed, contracted, volunteering, or compensated by any form of remuneration, gift, donation, or bartering to register individuals as qualifying patients, to complete application forms, or to assist individuals in completing application forms to become qualifying patients, or to transport or deliver to the Commission application forms for individuals seeking to become qualifying patients. (2) A certifying provider shall provide each written certification to the Commission. (3) On receipt of a written certification provided under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Commission shall issue an identification card to each qualifying patient or caregiver named in the written certification. (4) A certifying provider may discuss medical cannabis with a patient. (5)(i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, a qualifying patient or caregiver may obtain medical cannabis only from a medical cannabis grower licensed by the Commission or a dispensary licensed by the Commission. (ii) A qualifying patient under the age of 18 years may obtain medical cannabis only through: 1. The qualifying patient’s caregiver; or 2. Any designated school personnel authorized to administer medical cannabis to a student in accordance with the guidelines established under § 7-446 of the Education Article. (6)(i) A caregiver may serve no more than five qualifying patients at any time. (ii) Except as provided in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph, a qualifying patient may have no more than two caregivers. (iii) A qualifying patient under the age of 18 years may have no more than four caregivers. (7) Any designated school personnel described in paragraph (5)(ii) of this subsection: (i) May administer to a student only medical cannabis: 1. That is obtained through the student’s caregiver; and 2. In accordance with dosing, timing, and delivery route instructions as provided by the certifying provider’s written instructions; and (ii) Are not required to register with the Commission under this subtitle. (8) Beginning June 1, 2020, a caregiver may administer medical cannabis to a student who is a qualifying patient of the caregiver on school property, during school-sponsored activities, and while on a school bus.

Explained:

  • Patients can be the certified provider’s patient or be referred to the certifying provider, so long as the referral is not made by anyone compensated or related to the commission.

  • Providers must give written certification to the Commission for patients to receive an ID card.

  • Qualifying patients can only get cannabis from a licensed medical cannabis grower or dispensary.

  • Qualifying patients under 18 years of age can obtain medical cannabis via their caregiver or any designated, authorized school personnel.

  • One caregiver can serve a maximum of 5 patients at a time.

  • Qualifying patients above 18 can have no more than 2 caregivers.

  • Qualifying patients under 18 can have no more than 4 caregivers.

  • Designated school personnel can administer cannabis provided by the student’s caregiver according to the provider’s dosing instructions.

      Law #2: License Requirements

      Law: § 13-3307. Dispensary license requirements (Effective: May 8, 2020) In general (a)(1) A dispensary shall be licensed by the Commission. (2)(i) Subject to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, beginning December 1, 2024, the Commission may report to the General Assembly, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, on the number of licenses necessary to meet the demand for medical cannabis by qualifying patients and caregivers issued identification cards under this subtitle in an affordable, accessible, secure, and efficient manner. (ii) Before the Commission determines to submit the report described under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the Commission shall provide the Legislative Policy Committee at least 30 days to submit comments to the Commission. Application form, contents, and fee (b) To be licensed as a dispensary, an applicant shall submit to the Commission: (1) An application fee in an amount to be determined by the Commission consistent with this subtitle; and (2) An application that includes: (i) The legal name and physical address of the proposed dispensary; (ii) The name, address, and date of birth of each principal officer and each director, none of whom may have served as a principal officer or director for a dispensary that has had its license revoked; and (iii) Operating procedures that the dispensary will use, consistent with Commission regulations for oversight, including storage of cannabis and products containing cannabis only in enclosed and locked facilities. Application review process (c)(1) The Commission shall: (i) Establish an application review process for granting dispensary licenses in which applications are reviewed, evaluated, and ranked based on criteria established by the Commission; (ii) To the extent permitted by federal and State law, actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity when licensing dispensaries; and (iii) Encourage applicants who qualify as a minority business enterprise, as defined in § 14-301 of the State Finance and Procurement Article, or who are small, minority, or women-owned business entities to apply for licensure as dispensaries. (2) Beginning June 1, 2018, a dispensary licensed under this subtitle shall report annually to the Commission on: (i) The number of minority and women owners of the dispensary; (ii) The ownership interest of any minority and women owners of the dispensary; and (iii) The number of minority and women employees of the dispensary. Limit on ownership of multiple dispensaries (d) The Commission shall allow a person to have an ownership interest in or control of, including the power to manage and operate, up to four dispensaries under this section. Duration of license (e)(1) A dispensary license is valid for 6 years on initial licensure. (2) A dispensary license is valid for 4 years on renewal. Purchase under § 13-3304.1 (f) The Commission shall allow a dispensary licensed under this section or a dispensary agent registered under § 13-3308 of this subtitle to acquire, possess, transfer, transport, sell, distribute, or dispense edible cannabis products for use by a qualifying patient, a caregiver, or an academic research representative purchasing medical cannabis under § 13-3304.1 of this subtitle. Immunity of licensed dispensaries and dispensary agents (g) A dispensary licensed under this section or a dispensary agent registered under § 13-3308 of this subtitle may not be penalized or arrested under State law for acquiring, possessing, transferring, transporting, selling, distributing, or dispensing medical cannabis, products containing medical cannabis, related supplies, or educational materials for use by a qualifying patient, a caregiver, or an academic research representative purchasing medical cannabis under § 13-3304.1 of this subtitle. Security and product handling procedures (h) The Commission shall establish requirements for security and product handling procedures that a dispensary must meet to obtain a license under this section, including a requirement for a producttracking system. Inspection of licensed dispensaries (i) The Commission may inspect a dispensary licensed under this section to ensure compliance with this subtitle. Regulations and permits (j) The Commission, in consultation with the Department, shall adopt regulations to require a dispensary to meet any additional requirements that the Commission determines are necessary, including requiring a permit, for the dispensing of edible cannabis products. Penalties or rescission of license for noncompliance (k) The Commission may impose penalties or rescind the license of a dispensary that does not meet the standards for licensure set by the Commission. Quarterly reporting requirements (l)(1) Each dispensary licensed under this section shall submit to the Commission a quarterly report. (2) The quarterly report shall include: (i) The number of patients served; (ii) The county of residence of each patient served; (iii) The medical condition for which medical cannabis was recommended; (iv) The type and amount of medical cannabis dispensed; and (v) If available, a summary of clinical outcomes, including adverse events and any cases of suspected diversion. (3) The quarterly report may not include any personal information that identifies a patient.

      Explained:

      • Dispensary applicants must submit:
        • An application fee.

        • Legal name and physical address of the proposed dispensary.

        • Name, address, and date of birth for each principal officer and direct (none of which have been associated with a dispensary that had its license revoked.

        • Intended operating procedures.

      • The commission must encourage applicants who qualify as a minority business enterprise.

      • Dispensaries must report the number of minority and women owners, ownership interest of any minority or women owners, and the number of minority and women employees. The report on minority owners and employees is due to the Commission on or before June 1 and failure to submit the Annual report may result in a fine of up to $5,000 per violation, license suspension or revocation, or both.

      Annual Report on Minority and Women Owners and Employees can be found here.

      • One person can have ownership or interest in up to 4 dispensaries.

      • Dispensary licenses are valid for 6 years initially, and 4 years upon renewal.

      • Dispensary agents cannot be penalized or arrested to transporting marijuana to a qualifying patient, caregiver, or representative purchasing the product.

      • The commission can inspect dispensaries and penalize or revoke licenses in response to non-compliance.

      • Additional, quarterly reports are required and must include:
      • Quarterly reports cannot include any identifying patient information.

          Law #3: Dispensary agent requirements

          Law: In general (a) A dispensary agent shall: (1) Be at least 21 years old; (2) Be registered with the Commission before the agent may volunteer or work for a dispensary; and (3) Obtain a State and national criminal history records check in accordance with § 13-3312 of this subtitle. Application for registration card (b) A dispensary shall apply to the Commission for a registration card for each dispensary agent by submitting the name, address, and date of birth of the agent. Notification requirements (c)(1) Within 1 business day after a dispensary agent ceases to be associated with a dispensary, the dispensary shall: (i) Notify the Commission; and (ii) Return the dispensary agent’s registration card to the Commission. (2) On receipt of a notice described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Commission shall: (i) Immediately revoke the registration card of the dispensary agent; and (ii) If the registration card was not returned to the Commission, notify the Department of State Police. Restrictions (d) The Commission may register an individual who has been convicted of a felony drug offense as a dispensary agent unless: (1) Except as provided in item (2) of this subsection, the individual submitted an application under subsection (b) of this section earlier than 7 years after the individual satisfied the sentence imposed for the conviction, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision; (2) The individual has been convicted of a violation of § 5-612 or § 5-613 of the Criminal Law Article, regardless of whether the individual has satisfactorily completed the sentence for the offense; or (3) The Commission finds a substantial reason to deny the registration.

          Explained:

          Dispensary agents must:

          • Be at least 21 years old.

          • Register with the Commission before working or volunteering at a dispensary.

          • Obtain a background check.

          • A dispensary must require a prospective dispensary agent to submit to a drug screen before commencement of association.

              Law #4: Advertising

              Law: § 13-3313.1. Advertisements (Effective: May 13, 2019) In general (a) All advertisements for medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, edible cannabis products, or medical cannabis-related services that make therapeutic or medical claims shall: (1) Be supported by substantial clinical evidence or substantial clinical data; and (2) Include information on the most significant side effects or risks associated with the use of cannabis. Prohibitions (b) An advertisement for a grower, a processor, a dispensary, an independent testing laboratory, a certifying provider, or a third-party vendor may not: (1) Make any statement that is false or misleading in any material way or is otherwise a violation of §§ 13-301 through 13-320 of the Commercial Law Article; or (2) Contain a design, an illustration, a picture, or a representation that: (i) Encourages or represents the recreational use of cannabis; (ii) Targets or is attractive to minors, including a cartoon character, a mascot, or any other depiction that is commonly used to market products to minors; (iii) Displays the use of cannabis, including the consumption, smoking, or vaping of cannabis; (iv) Encourages or promotes cannabis for use as an intoxicant; or (v) Are obscene. Qualifying patient (c) All advertising for medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, or edible cannabis products shall include a statement that the product is for use only by a qualifying patient. Age-screening (d)(1) Any website owned, managed, or operated by a certifying provider, dispensary, grower, or processor shall employ a neutral age-screening mechanism that verifies that the user is at least 18 years of age, including by using an age-gate, age-screen, or age verification mechanism. (2) An advertisement placed on social media or a mobile application shall include a notification that: (i) A person must be at least 18 years old to view the content; and (ii) Medical cannabis is for use by certified patients only. Application (e)(1) This subsection does not apply to an advertisement placed on property owned or leased by a dispensary, grower, or processor. (2) Any advertisement for medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, edible cannabis products, or medical cannabis-related services may not be placed within 500 feet of: (i) A substance abuse or treatment facility; (ii) A primary or secondary school in the State or a child care center licensed or a family child care home registered under Title 9.5 of the Education Article; or (iii) A playground, recreation center, library, or public park. Regulations (f) The Commission shall adopt regulations to establish: (1) Procedures for the enforcement of this section; and (2) A process for an individual to voluntarily submit an advertisement to the Commission for an advisory opinion on whether the advertisement complies with the restrictions on advertisements for medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, edible cannabis products, and medical cannabis-related services.

              Explained:

              • Advertisements must be supported by clinical evidence or data and must include the most significant side effects or risks associated with cannabis use.

              • The following is prohibited:
                • False or misleading statements.

                • Designs, illustrations, pictures, or representations that:
                  • Encourage or represent the recreational use of cannabis.

                  • Target or appeal to minors, including a cartoon character, mascot, or any other depiction that is commonly used to market products to minors.

                  • Display the consumption, smoking, vaping, or other use of cannabis.

                  • Encourages or promotes cannabis for use as an intoxicant.

                  • Are obscene.

              • Advertising must include a statement explaining that the product is limited to use by qualifying patients.

              • Websites must employ a neutral age-screening mechanism that filters out individuals under 18.

              • Social media or mobile application advertisements must include a notification that viewers must be 18 years or older and medical cannabis is for use by certified patients only.

              • Advertisements cannot be placed within 500 feet of:
                • A substance abuse or treatment facility.

                • A primary or secondary school, child care center, or family child care home.

                • A playground, recreation center, library, or public park.

              A Medical Cannabis Advertising Guide can be found here and Advertising FAQs can be found here.

                Law #5: Purchase limits

                Law: The standard amount certification issued by a provider for a patient identifies the quantity of dried flower and/or THC that the patient can purchase in a given 30-day period. The standard amount is 120 grams of dried flower or 36 grams of a THC product, however, a provider may certify a patient for more or less than the standard amount. The amount available for purchase is calculated on a rolling 30-day cycle. That is, the amount that a patient may purchase on any given day is calculated as the certified amount minus the total of all purchases made within the last 30 days. The 30-day cycle is not based on the calendar month.

                Explained:

                • Patients can purchase 120 grams of usable cannabis (primarily dried flower) or 36 grams of THC as a 30-day supply. The patient’s provider can provide a written statement certify a patient for a specific amount, whether it be more or less than this purchase limit.

                • The 30-day cycle operates on a rolling basis, not monthly.

                • To calculate a daily purchase limit, take the amount the patient is certified for and subtract the amount they purchased in the last 30 days.

                  Maryland cannabis laws FAQs

                  Is recreational cannabis legal in Maryland?

                  Adult-use cannabis is currently not legal in Maryland.

                  How is marijuana taxed in Maryland?

                  Cannabis is not taxed in Maryland.

                  How much weed can I buy in Maryland?

                  Maryland patients can purchase 120 grams of usable cannabis (primarily dried flower) or 36 grams of THC product within a 30-day period. The patient’s provider can provide a written statement certifying a patient for a specific amount, whether it be more or less than this purchase limit.

                  Is Flowhub compliant with Maryland's cannabis regulations?

                  Yes! Flowhub was the first integrator with Metrc, so we have a deep understanding of how to keep your dispensary compliant. We also are compliant with Maryland's cannabis regulations.

                  Disclaimer: The material contained on this website and any attached or referenced pages has been compiled by Flowhub for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and is not considered to be legal advice. This post is current as of 11/9/2021. Cannabis regulations are rapidly changing, and legal advice of any nature should be sought from legal counsel.

                  Taylor

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