Last fall, voters overwhelmingly approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland. Before toking up, here’s the lowdown on the new rules about reefer.
1. Adults only, please.
If you’re 21 or older, starting July 1, you can purchase recreational marijuana from a licensed dispensary without obtaining a medical marijuana card. You’ll just have to present a government-issued ID to prove your age.
2. Know your limits.
You can’t possess more than 750 milligrams of THC at a time, though it can be spread out across a variety of products. One additional restriction: A person can only possess 1.5 ounces of flower (the dried buds of the plants) or 12 grams of concentrated cannabis at a time.
3. As of this writing, there are nearly 20 licensed marijuana dispensaries in Montgomery County.
Highly ranked faves include Rise and HerbaFi in Silver Spring, Bethesda’s Health for Life, Curaleaf in Montgomery Village and Rockville’s gLeaf; all boast mind-boggling selections of flowers, concentrates, pre-rolls, edibles, topicals and vape cartridges. As the state continues to approve new dispensary licenses, expect to see more pot shops popping up.
4. Don’t even think about starting a side hustle like
Nancy Botwin from Weeds.
It’s illegal to sell pot unless you have a dispensary license. However, you can share cannabis with other adults as long as it doesn’t exceed the legal weight limit and no money (or any other form of compensation) changes hands.
5. You can’t get weed delivered…yet.
The new law has a provision for businesses to apply for a micro-dispensary license to run a delivery service, but the first licenses for them won’t be awarded until Jan. 1, 2024. Once they’re open, you’ll be able to order cannabis to be delivered just like a pizza. (Pro tip: For a good time, order both.)
6. Stay in, space out.
Do your vaping or smoking at home or at a, well, bud’s house—it’s illegal to toke up in any public spaces, including parks, restaurants, indoor places of employment, and on the sidewalk. Listening to Phish bootlegs and hotboxing in your car is also verboten, because getting high in any motor vehicle is illegal. And don’t forget: Cannabis continues to be illegal on a federal level, so it is illegal to spark up or even possess weed on federal property, including national parks.
7. You can grow your own way.
If you’re 21 or older, you can cultivate up to two cannabis plants out of public view (think an indoor grow box or in a backyard garden surrounded by high fencing). Two caveats: Landlords can bar tenants from growing pot, and only two plants are permitted per household, regardless of how many people live on the property. Medical marijuana cardholders can grow up to four plants per household.
8. Pot still has legal consequences.
Possessing between 1.5 and 2.5 ounces of flower can score you a civil fine of up to $250, court-ordered drug education programming and a referral for assessment and/or treatment of substance use disorder. Possessing more than 2.5 ounces, but less than 50 pounds, could result in up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. It’s illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, so order a Lyft after enjoying edibles. And crossing states lines with cannabis is against the law, so smoke everything you’ve got before taking that trip to the Outer Banks.
This story appears in the July/August issue of Bethesda Magazine.
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