Maryland Medical Cannabis Laws Regulations

Maryland medical marijuana rules and regulations are complex. StickyGuide should not be relied upon as a statement of the law, however, we’ve pulled together a few helpful resources, tips and pieces of guidance to help you navigate the industry.

First, a bit of background. Maryland has been updating and revising promulgated laws and regulations since around 2013. At that time Governor Martin O'Malley signed several pieces of legislation in succession that decriminalized marijuana use in a variety of ways. Most notably was the April 2014 piece of legislation, House Bill 881, the " Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission which enabled Maryland patients to obtain legal medical cannabis from Maryland-licenses dispensaries. Less than a year later, he also signed a law that decriminalized the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, converting the punishment for carrying recreational marijuana into a civil infraction, similar to a traffic ticket. The law took effect in October of 2014 of that year. Then, in 2016 the state similarly decriminalized weed paraphernalia and smoking in public.

However, despite several pieces of legislation being signed into law, it’s taken some time for Maryland to be fully operational with their new marijuana policies, stymied by various hurdles. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the new laws, as they stand today.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Medical Marijuana in Maryland

Where can I read the state’s final regulations?
A complete set of rules and regulations for all Maryland medicinal weed, effective September 14, 2015, visit the Division of State Documents website here,

What role will a local government play in the final licensure decision-making process for businesses or individuals working with medical marijuana?
Any entity seeking licensure with the MMCC as a grower, processor, or a dispensary is required to meet all local zoning and planning requirements as set forth by the local government. Beyond that, there are no further formal procedures by local government.

Can local zoning officials ban medical cannabis in their municipality?
In a letter to Senator Zirkin, the Attorney General of Maryland expressly said they should not.

"You have asked for advice conceming whether a county or municipal corporation could prohibit a licensed medical cannabis grower from growing marijuana, a licensed dispensary from selling marijuana, a licensed processor from processing marijuana, a registered agent from performing the acts for which they are registered, a carepliver from possessing marijuana or a qualifying patient from possessing or using marijuana. It is my view that they may not."

Read the full letter here.

My physician is afraid they could be criminally prosecuted for advising medical marijuana as a part of my treatment plan, or even registering with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Is this something they should be concerned with?
No. You can rest assure your physician he or she operating within the letter of law by registering with the Commission to use marijuana as a treatment. In short, doctors are completely protected. Apart from the fact that thousands of doctors are already recommending marijuana as a part of their treatment plans, the United States courts have also upheld the protection of doctors on various levels, from local governments all the way through the Ninth Circuit of Appeals which clearly defended patients and providers rights to talk about and medicinal cannabis needs. In addition, in December 2014, Congress barred the Department of Justice from spending any funds that could interfere in states’ medical cannabis programs, specifically including Maryland.

Are there any reasons my doctor would not be able to recommend medicinal cannabis?
There are a list of qualified diseases, ailments, or conditions for which medical marijuana has been approved. Certified physicians are allowed to recommend medical marijuana for these areas and within the parameters set forth by the MMCC.

Qualifying medical conditions include the following medical conditions, diseases, or treatments:

  • Terminal or end-of-life care
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome
  • Anorexia
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Persistent and severe muscle spasms

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