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The CULTA Blog

Adult-Use Cannabis in Maryland: What You Need to Know

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In April 2023, after months of negotiation on issues ranging from taxes to social equity programs, Maryland passed Senate Bill 516. SB 516 regulates recreational cannabis sales for adults 21+ and goes into effect July 1, 2023. So, what does this groundbreaking legislation mean for CULTA and other cannabis dispensaries across the state? In this blog, our team of experts answers those questions (and more) so you’ll be prepared for the legalization of adult-use cannabis in July. 

So, what’s changing? 

Effective July 1, 2023, adult-use cannabis is legal in Maryland. This means that adults 21+ won’t need a medical card to purchase or consume marijuana as long as it’s a personal use amount.” The threshold for personal use is 1.5 ounces of flower or 12 grams of concentrate. It is still illegal to carry cannabis products across state lines, even to another adult-use state.

In addition to legalizing cannabis for adult use, SB 516 also: 

  • Establishes provisions for expungement, including a process for expunging cases in which possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis was the only charge. 
  • Requires studies on cannabis use, including impaired driving and other health and safety issues. 
  • Establishes a brand new Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council. This council’s primary objective is studying/making recommendations for cannabis regulation to the General Assembly. 
  • Creates three new funds: 
    • A public health fund that addresses the health impact of cannabis legalization. 
    • A business assistance fund to encourage minorities and women to participate in the cannabis industry. 
    • A community reinvestment and repair fund, which will provide funds to communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. 

After July 1, 2023, the amount of marijuana you must possess to be subject to a civil fine vs. a criminal penalty increases from 10 grams to 2.5 ounces. 

Can I cultivate marijuana at home? 

Yep! Under SB 516, adults 21+ can cultivate up to two plants at home. Qualified medical marijuana patients can grow up to four plants. 

It is legal for landlords and property owners to prohibit you from growing cannabis on their properties, so if you rent your apartment or home please check with your landlord before growing cannabis. 

How much cannabis can I possess? 

Up to 1.5 ounces flower or 12 grams of concentrate, as long as the combined total THC across all products is less than 750mg.  

What about social equity programs?

Many states with adult-use legalization have social equity provisions, and Maryland is no different. SB 516 includes social equity provisions, which are intended to promote equity in the cannabis industry among those who have been impacted most by its prohibition. 

The bill creates a new Office of Social Equity, and the first adult-use licenses in Maryland will be reserved for social equity applicants. To be considered a social equity applicant, the company must be at least 65% owned by an individual who lived in a “disproportionately impacted area” for 5 of the last ten years or attended a public school in such an area. 

How does this change the medical program?

Effective July 1, 2023, there will no longer be medical marijuana dispensaries. Instead, all dispensaries will be open to the public (21+). Existing medical dispensaries will be able to convert their medical license to an adult-use license without having to re-register with the state. Additionally, there will no longer be a residence requirement. 

What should I do with my medical card? 

You can continue to use your existing medical card at cannabis dispensaries through its expiration date. Those who use a medical card at an adult-use dispensary will be exempt from the 9% tax.  When your medical card expires, you can renew it and continue to receive the 9% tax savings or let it lapse. 

Will CULTA be medical or adult-use? 

CULTA is currently in the process of reverting our medical license to an adult-use license. This means that effective July 1, you’ll only need a valid I.D. to purchase cannabis at CULTA, as long as you’re 21+. Valid forms of identification include a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, military I.D. or tribal card from any jurisdiction. 

Is cannabis still illegal at the federal level?

Yes. Cannabis is still illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Transporting cannabis across state lines is illegal, as is using or possessing cannabis on federal land, even if that federal land is within states where cannabis is legal. 

Will the tax on cannabis be higher than it is now? 

Since medical cannabis is a medical product, it is not currently taxed. Effective July 1, 2023, all cannabis products will be taxed at 9%, the same as alcohol. Those with a medical card will be exempt from this tax.

What will the additional taxes be used for? 

A portion of the taxes will be used to fund social programs and the three funds (public health, business assistance fund, and community reinvestment and repair fund) under SB 516. 

Can I cross state lines with the cannabis I purchase in Maryland? 

No. It is illegal to transport cannabis across state lines, even if you’re traveling from one “legal” state to another. All cannabis purchased in Maryland must be consumed in Maryland. 

I’m from a neighboring state - can I purchase cannabis in Maryland? 

Yes. We welcome our 21+ neighbors from D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to visit our dispensary. Just remember- transporting cannabis across state lines is still illegal, so you’ll need to consume the cannabis you purchase before heading home. That said, we encourage all adults to obey all laws regarding driving under the influence and public consumption.  

Purchase adult-use cannabis at CULTA 

Effective July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to purchase high-quality cannabis at CULTA’s flagship Baltimore dispensary (and our partner dispensaries) without a medical card. All you’ll need is a valid form of identification and cash -- though some dispensaries (including ours) accept cards, the fees can be high and the industry is still largely a cash-only industry. 

Visiting a dispensary for the first time can be intimidating. If you’re planning on visiting us for the first time in July, check out the seven things you need to know before visiting a dispensary or review the official adult-use FAQs from the Maryland Cannabis Administration. 

*Medical cannabis is for certified/qualifying patients only. Must be at least 21 years old to view content.