Adult-use recreational cannabis is now legal in Maryland. Here’s how the State Department of Education will regulate usage in schools and child care facilities.
Adult-use cannabis became legal throughout Maryland on July 1. How recreational use will interact with schools and child care facilities has been discussed throughout the legalization process. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) passed emergency regulations at its June 27 meeting about cannabis usage at child care facilities. Those regulations went into effect on July 1, the same day adult use became legal. Additionally, the Department confirmed cannabis policies in k-12 schools — including the prohibition on possession and usage — are not changing.
The emergency regulations state:
The purpose of cannabis regulations is to establish guidelines and restrictions regarding the use, storage, and accessibility of cannabis, cannabis edibles, and smoking and vaping paraphernalia and byproducts and related products in licensed and regulated child care programs. The proposed regulations are consistent throughout all four chapters. These proposed regulations expand upon the existing prohibition for smoking and use of alcohol to also prohibit vaping and any use of cannabis in the child care setting. The regulations also require the proper disposal of biocontaminants and biohazards as requested from the federal Administration for Children and Families.
Child care facilities
MSDE regulation states that:
- Child care centers, and providers must notify caregivers of any smoking, vaping, or cannabis use on the premises;
- The provider or any other individual cannot legally consume alcohol, smoke, or vape when the center is open for business; and
- They also cannot be under the influence of cannabis, an illegal substance, or a controlled, dangerous substance not prescribed.
While MSDE’s emergency regulations were specific to child care facilities, the Department informed The Baltimore Sun that cannabis policies for k-12 public schools are not changing:
Students are still not allowed to use or have cannabis in schools, the spokesperson said. Disciplinary practices are not set to change.
In Baltimore City Public Schools, the student code of conduct states that if a student is found under the influence of drugs or controlled substances, a teacher or administrator will intervene and respond to the situation. Related service providers, such as social workers, psychologists and counselors, are also informed.
If a student is using or possessing drugs or controlled substances at school, discipline can include anything from intervention by an administrator to suspension to expulsion. School police and related service providers are notified of the situation.
MSDE also has separate guidance on the administration of medical cannabis for qualified students in Maryland public schools.