Maryland is one of the few states in the nation that has not passed medical marijuana legislation. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently said that Maryland might soon be joining the other 23 states and District Columbia to legalize medical marijuana. Maryland will need to amend current laws on possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis, which would become legal if House Bill 881 passes a Senate vote.
This new bill proposed by Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan seeks to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use under certain circumstances. Last month, the bill was introduced as an amendment to Maryland state law and awaited debate in the Senate before it can be signed into law.
Medical Marijuana in Maryland
Maryland state lawmakers are considering legalizing and regulating the use, sale, and possession of cannabis in Maryland. The Maryland General Assembly is considering House Bill 8811, which was introduced during last month’s special session as an amendment to Maryland state law. The bill proposes replacing criminal penalties related to small amounts of marijuana for personal use with fines. Maryland residents will also vote on the question of whether they want to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older with up to one ounce or less of marijuana or six plants per person.
Maryland passed House Bill 550 in March 2020. The bill decriminalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use under certain circumstances. Maryland will also need to amend current laws on possession of up to ten grams of cannabis which would become legal if House Bill-8811 passes.
House Bill 1391 would create more flexible guidelines for Maryland practitioners but will need to pass both Houses of General Assembly before it can be signed into law. This bill will allow Maryland patients to grow cannabis in their homes for personal use. Also, patients who qualify under the law would be able to receive cannabis from licensed Maryland dispensaries. In addition, for Marylanders who are not eligible for medical marijuana, this bill would allow them to grow cannabis plants in their own home legally.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is responsible for regulating the cultivation and dispensing of Maryland’s limited supply of prescription medical marijuana. And patients with certain conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, and epilepsy may apply for Maryland medical marijuana cards.
Maryland’s Current Restrictions on Medical Marijuana
Maryland residents will vote on the question of whether they want to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older with up to one ounce or less of marijuana or six plants per person. This proposal is currently being debated in Maryland General Assembly.
It is important to note that Maryland is one of the 23 states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes. Still, Maryland has some of the strictest regulations in the country.
1) Patients are limited to a 30 day supply of prescription medicine at any given time.
2) Maryland’s program also specifies that patients are only allowed to purchase medical cannabis from a Maryland licensed dispensary, which is limited in number. This means that Maryland cardholders may have difficulty getting access to this type of medicine because there are not enough dispensaries or physicians who can prescribe it. A patient might need to drive hours to Maryland just to be able to buy their prescription.
3) Maryland has a number of restrictions on who can access and use medical marijuana, including patients with cancer, glaucoma, or AIDS.
4) Maryland also restricts the amount that qualifying patients are able to possess at one time – up to six ounces in plant form and no more than three ounces dried.
5) Maryland does not allow for the use of oils, tinctures, or edibles.
6) Maryland law currently prohibits any person from possessing marijuana even if it is for medical purposes, with few exceptions.
7) Under Maryland’s current laws, only those who have been diagnosed as terminally ill may legally possess and consume cannabis.
Amending Medical Marijuana Laws
The Maryland House of Delegates voted 98-40 in favor of this bill that would make specific changes within Maryland’s current medical marijuana law.
1) Maryland’s current laws restricting who can access and use medical marijuana is a situation that the state of Maryland may consider amending. Medical Marijuana Laws Maryland is considering amending its medical marijuana laws to allow for the use of oils, tinctures and edibles. This bill would replace criminal penalties related to small amounts of cannabis with civil fines in order to make it easier for Maryland residents who are not able on their own accord to purchase or produce marijuana for medical purposes.
2) Maryland is considering amending the medical marijuana law with a measure that would allow doctors to approve patients for treatment without first obtaining permission from federal drug regulators. House Bill 1391, which Maryland Senate has already approved, will need to pass in both Houses of General Assembly before it can become law.
Maryland is the only state in America where a physician cannot recommend medical marijuana to their patients without first seeking permission from federal drug regulators.
3) Maryland Considers Amending Medical Marijuana Laws to Allow for Home Cultivation and Dispensaries.
4) The Maryland Senate passed a bill that would make it legal for people with certain medical conditions to grow cannabis at home and establish up to 15 dispensaries across the state. Patients suffering from glaucoma or epilepsy and their caregivers would be eligible to grow up to six plants per household if the Maryland House of Delegates approves HB 1391.
5) Maryland is considering amending their medical marijuana laws to allow more people with chronic pain and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) access and allowing the production of cannabis oils.