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Adult Use of Cannabis in MD… What Does That Mean for Medical Cannabis Users?

Jul 7, 2023

“Intoxication decontrols the mind and sets it free. The challenge lies in harnessing the power of the free mind.”
― Tapan Ghosh

The use of recreational marijuana is here, and just in time for summer. An anticipated moment for many, as of July 1, 2023, adults can now legally purchase marijuana (to include flower, vape, and edibles) from their local licensed dispensaries, right alongside their card-carrying medicinal cannabis counterparts without a medical card (Hold for applause…).

As a practitioner of CannaYoga and a cannabis-assisted therapist in Maryland, this is an exciting time for many of my clients who are not medical cannabis patients but have been interested in and patiently awaiting the opportunity to revel in the cannabis services I provide. Well, the wait is over, and their time has finally come.

But with the changes in the cannabis laws, what does this mean for current medical cannabis users, and what should you know about Maryland’s new marijuana laws before heading out to your local dispensary?

Is there an age restriction?

Yes, there is. Non-registered medical use individuals must be 21 or older to purchase marijuana recreationally in Maryland. Anyone under 21 years of age may not possess or use non-medical cannabis. Possession can result in fines, a court order to attend drug education programming, and even criminal penalties (if in possession of more than 2.5 ounces). The rules for registered medical patients 18 years and older or registered minors remain the same. All customers, regardless of age, must provide proof of age by showing a government-issued ID at the time of purchase.

Where can I buy recreational cannabis in Maryland?

For now, recreational marijuana will only be available for purchase at established licensed dispensaries or on-site consumption establishments in Maryland (See the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) website for current listings). However, under a new regulatory structure, in the not-too-distant future, new marijuana growers and sellers will have their chance to apply for a license. It is important to note that recreational marijuana purchased at a licensed dispensary or on-site consumption establishments under no circumstances can be re-sold.

How much cannabis can I purchase?

At any given time, persons can only purchase up to the “personal use amount” authorized by law. Broken down, this equals up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana flower (to include joints and pre-rolls), 12 grams of concentrated marijuana (vape cartridges and oils), or a total amount of edible products not to exceed 750 mg in THC.

Is there a tax on marijuana?

Unlike other areas where cannabis is recreationally legal but not yet being taxed, Maryland is coming out of the gates taxing their recreational users. Adopting the Alcohol Sales and Use Tax, recreational cannabis will have a 9% tax.

However, there is some good news for medical card carriers. This tax will only apply to recreational users. Registered users can continue to toke tax-free; how great is that?

Is smoking or vaping cannabis in public allowed?

No changes here; Restrictions remain the same as it relates to the partaking of cannabis via smoking or vaping. By all means, light up in your own (private) home, an on-site consumption establishment, or even at a friend’s or family member’s home (that is if they permit you to), but doing so in a neighborhood park, casually walking down the street, or even in your car is still a huge no-no.

 Rules restricting the use of marijuana in public places, including parks, streets/sidewalks, restaurants, and bars, or on public transportation, remain in effect and should continue to be followed.

 As a note, if you are renting your home and don’t already have an agreement in place, be sure to read your rental agreement or check with your landlord or management company, as they have the right to prohibit cannabis use on their properties. Even with a medical card, smoking cannabis in a residence that is being rented is considered a breach of contract (especially if documented in the rental agreement) and can result in eviction.

Is growing marijuana in my home legal now?

Yes and no. Again, if you rent your home, it is best to check with your landlord or management company and get permission before planting. But if you own your home or have a landlord/management company that is 4-20 friendly, there are a few guidelines that must be followed:

  • If you are 21 or older and a recreational user, you can propagate up to two plants in your home, being sure to keep plants out of plain sight. It is important to note that this rule applies to the household, not each person within the household. Three recreational users in a household can still only grow up to two plants.

  • Registered medical patients can grow up to four plants in their home (again out of plain sight), according to the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission. The household rules are the same as recreational users. Regardless of how many medical cardholders are in a household, there is a four-plant limit.

 Are there any other differences between medical cannabis users and recreational adult-use users?

Other than what was outlined, there are very few differences in the rules of engagement for medical cannabis users and recreational adult users. Overall, the new law does not directly impact the medical marijuana program currently in place. There has been some speculation that some higher potency products may only be made available to persons with a medical card, however; this is just speculation, not concrete facts. Rather than ruminating on differences, lets embrace this step towards the end of prohibition of cannabis in the free state of Maryland.

 Anything else I should know?

While the laws surrounding the purchase and consumption of cannabis have relaxed, be responsible. Criminal charges for having marijuana in Maryland are still a possibility. Anyone found possessing more than the legal limit of marijuana (2.5 ounces) can have criminal charges brought against them, as this is still an illegal amount in Maryland. Now that you know what you need to know about the new Maryland Cannabis laws, happy toting…

To find out more about the Cana-yoga classes I offer or about Cannabis Assisted Therapy, visit my website and sign up for my monthly newsletter.

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