Maryland Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Maryland Cannabis Law

Caregiver

Caregiver does not include 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

A person who has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient’s medical use of cannabis; and for a qualifying patient under the age of 18 years: A parent or legal guardian; and
Not more than two additional adults designated by the parent or legal guardian.

Certifying provider

  • Has an active, unrestricted license to practice medicine that was issued by the State Board of Physicians under Title 14 of the Health Occupations Article; and Is in good standing with the State Board of Physicians;
  • Has an active, unrestricted license to practice dentistry that was issued by the State Board of Dental Examiners under Title 4 of the Health Occupations Article; and Is in good standing with the State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Has an active, unrestricted license to practice podiatry that was issued by the State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners under Title 16 of the Health Occupations Article; and Is in good standing with the State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners;
  • Has an active, unrestricted license to practice registered nursing and has an active, unrestricted certification to practice as a nurse practitioner or a nurse midwife that were issued by the State Board of Nursing under Title 8 of the Health Occupations Article; and Is in good standing with the State Board of Nursing;
  • Has an active, unrestricted license to practice as a physician assistant issued by the State Board of Physicians under Title 15 of the Health Occupations Article; Has an active delegation agreement with a primary supervising physician who is a certifying provider; Is in good standing with the State Board of Physicians;
  • Has a State controlled dangerous substances registration; and Is registered with the Commission to make cannabis available to patients for medical use in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commission

Dispensary

  • Dispensary means an entity licensed under this subtitle that acquires, possesses, transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers cannabis, products containing cannabis, related supplies, related products containing cannabis including edible cannabis products, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments, or educational materials for use by a qualifying patient or caregiver.

Dispensary agent

  • Dispensary agent means an owner, a member, an employee, a volunteer, an officer, or a director of a dispensary.

Grower

Grower means an entity licensed under this subtitle that: Cultivates or packages medical cannabis; and is authorized by the Commission to provide cannabis to a processor, dispensary, or independent testing laboratory.

Qualifying patient

  • Qualifying patient means an individual who: Has been provided with a written certification by a certifying provider in accordance with a bona fide provider-patient relationship; and if under the age of 18 years, has a caregiver.
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:
    • Cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome;
    • Severe or chronic pain;
    • Severe nausea;
    • Seizures; or
    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms.

What is the process for legally obtaining medical cannabis in the State of Maryland? Maryland Residents:

Step 1: Register as a patient with MMCC

  • Adult Patients (18+ years of age):
    • To prepare for registration, please review the Process Overview for registering as a patient.
    • Minor Patients (Under 18 years of age):
    • Minor patients are required to have at least one caregiver assigned to their accounts at all times. Only parents or legal guardians 21 years of age and older are eligible to serve as caregivers for minor patients.
    • Caregivers must register with the Commission prior to registering the minor patient. Registering a minor patient requires additional forms, one of which must be notarized, so please review carefully the requirements in the Process Overview and Quick Reference Card documents for registering a minor patient.

Step 2: Obtain a written certification from a provider registered with the Commission

  • Once registered, patients must obtain a valid written certification from a provider registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The patient is required by law to have a bona fide provider-patient relationship with the provider and the provider must approve medical cannabis as a treatment option for the patient for a qualifying medical condition. Qualifying medical conditions include cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.
  • The Provider Registry is open and the Commission encourages providers to register. Any provider with an active, unrestricted license in good standing with their corresponding board and actively registered to prescribe controlled substances in Maryland is eligible to register with MMCC.
    • When both the patient and provider are registered with MMCC, the provider will need the patient’s MMCC-issued Patient ID Number to issue the certification for medical cannabis through the Commission’s secure online application.

Step 3: Visit a licensed Maryland dispensary

  • After registering, obtaining a valid written certification from a registered provider, and printing a temporary MMCC Patient ID card, patients are able to visit licensed Maryland dispensaries to purchase medical cannabis.
    • When purchasing medical cannabis at a licensed dispensary, patients will be required to present their MMCC ID card. The dispensary agent will verify the patient’s certification in the Commission’s database before conducting any transaction.
    • Patients may only purchase and obtain a maximum of a thirty-day supply of medical cannabis at one time.

Please note: A certification that is not used to purchase medical cannabis, at a licensed dispensary in the state of Maryland, within 120 days of issuance becomes null and void.

Written certification

  • Written certification means a certification that:
  • Is issued by a certifying provider to a qualifying patient with whom the provider has a bona fide provider-patient relationship;
  • Includes a written statement certifying that, in the provider’s professional opinion, after having completed an assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, the patient has a condition:
    • That meets the inclusion criteria and does not meet the exclusion criteria of the certifying provider’s application; and
  • For which the potential benefits of the medical use of cannabis would likely outweigh the health risks for the patient; and
  • May include a written statement certifying that, in the provider’s professional opinion, a 30-day supply of medical cannabis would be inadequate to meet the medical needs of the qualifying patient.
  • The Commission may approve applications that include any other condition that is severe and for which other medical treatments have been ineffective if the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of cannabis.

Affidavit regarding women and minorities

  • A person that applies for licensure under this subtitle shall submit with the application for licensure an affidavit attesting to:
  • The number of minority and women owners of the applicant;
  • The ownership interest of any minority and women owners of the applicant;
  • The number of minority and women employees of the applicant; and
  • Any other information considered necessary by the Commission.

Dispensary license requirements

  • A dispensary shall be licensed by the Commission.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • A dispensary license is valid for 6 years on initial licensure.
  • A dispensary license is valid for 4 years on renewal.
  • To be licensed as a dispensary, an applicant shall submit to the Commission:
  • An application fee in an amount to be determined by the Commission consistent with this subtitle; and
  • An application that includes:
    • The legal name and physical address of the proposed dispensary;
    • 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
    • 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.

Purchase under § 13-3304.1

  • 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

  • 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.

Maryland Marijuana Laws and Penalties

Maryland Marijuana Laws and Penalties   
OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. Fine
PossessionCivil OffenseNone$100
Less than 10 gMisdemeanor1 year$1,000
10g – less than 50 lbsFelony5 years*$100,000
50 lbs or more   
Offenses involving the use of marijuana in public carries a civil fine of up to $500   
Increased fines for subsequent offenders   
With intent to distribute   
Less than 50 lbsFelony5 years$15,000
50 lbs or more**Felony5 years*$15,000
More than 50 lbs (drug kingpin)Felony20* – 40 years$1,000,000
In a school vehicle, or in, on, or within 1000 feet of an elementary or secondary schoolFelony20 years$20,000
Subsequent violationFelony5* – 40 years$40,000
Involving a minorFelony20 years$20,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
** Subsequent offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years   
  Trafficking   
More than 5 – less than 45 kgFelony10 years$10,000
45 kg or moreFelony25 years$50,000
In possession of a firearm while traffickingFelony5* – 20 yearsN/A
* Mandatory minimum sentence   
  Hash & Concentrates   
Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana.   
  Paraphernalia   
Possession of drug paraphernaliaCivil OffenseNone$0
Sale/Advertising distribution of drug paraphernaliaMisdemeanorNone$500
Subsequent violationMisdemeanor2 years$2,000
Selling to a minor who is at least 3 years youngerMisdemeanor8 years$15,000
Possession/Sale controlled paraphernaliaMisdemeanor1 year$1,000
Paraphernalia includes all equipment and materials used in the use, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana.   

Cannabis Advertising Guide

  • All advertisements for medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, edible cannabis products, or medical cannabis-related services that make therapeutic or medical claims shall:
    • Be supported by substantial clinical evidence or substantial clinical data; and
    • Include information on the most significant side effects or risks associated with the use of cannabis.
  • An advertisement for a grower, a processor, a dispensary, an independent testing laboratory, a certifying provider, or a third-party vendor may not:
    • 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
    • Contain a design, an illustration, a picture, or a representation that:
      • Encourages or represents the recreational use of cannabis;
      • 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;
      • Displays the use of cannabis, including the consumption, smoking, or vaping of cannabis;
      • Encourages or promotes cannabis for use as an intoxicant; or
      • Are obscene.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An advertisement placed on social media or a mobile application shall include a notification that:
    • A person must be at least 18 years old to view the content; and
    • Medical cannabis is for use by certified patients only
  • This subsection does not apply to an advertisement placed on property owned or leased by a dispensary, grower, or processor.
  • Any advertisement for medical cannabis, medical cannabis products, edible cannabis products, or medical cannabis-related services may not be placed within 500 feet of:
    • A substance abuse or treatment facility;
    • 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
    • A playground, recreation center, library, or public park.
  • 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.

Maryland Cannabis Tax Law

  • Medical marijuana: Purchases are not subject to the statewide sales tax. There are no excise taxes on medical cannabis.

https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Documents/2021_Policy_Regulations/Health%20General%20Articl e%20Title%2013.%20Subtitle%2033.%20May%202021.pdf

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