Maryland’s Plan to Regulate, License Cannabis Signed into Law, Effective July 1

The implementing legislation to create the licensing and oversight structure for adult-use cannabis sales and use in Maryland was signed into law this week, clearing the way for the newly legalized market, following voter approval during the 2022 election.

Governor Wes Moore, on Wednesday, May 3, signed legislation to regulate adult-use cannabis statewide. The passing of this legislation opens the door for Maryland’s first licensed sales of recreational cannabis to begin on July 1. Also, it allows Marylanders to grow up to two cannabis plants at home.

Putting an end to a 20-year-long journey of change in the perception and criminalization of cannabis use, Gov. Moore affirmed that the new law will, “ensure that the rollout of recreational cannabis in our state drives opportunity in an equitable way.” 

“The criminalization of marijuana harmed low-income communities and communities of color in a profound way,” he added. “We want to make sure that the legalization of marijuana lifts those communities now in a profound way.”

Just last November, with over two-thirds of the vote (67%), Maryland voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to allow Maryland adults 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis legally.

A quick roundup of The Changes to Come Under the New Legislation:

  • A new regulation and enforcement division within the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission which will be renamed the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission
  • A 9% tax on recreational cannabis purchases, with a distribution of 5% of those revenues to local governments
  • The opening of up to 300 new retail outlets. According to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, the state currently has 102 licensed MMJ dispensaries
  • A fee for license upgrades for existing medical cannabis retailers 
  • A reservation of licenses for “social equity applicants” which will be regulated by a new Office of Social Equity in the cannabis division 

Read the full legislation on the Maryland General Assembly website.

Track 2023 bill signings through the Governor’s website.