Legal Maryland recreational marijuana is now available in licensed cannabis dispensaries. The sale started in early July, exactly eight months after Marylanders voted for adult use of marijuana in the state. There were long queues outside licensed marijuana dispensaries as customers waited to buy their favorite weed products on the first day of sales. Maryland residents went to the ballot in November to vote for Question 4 in a state referendum. Almost two-thirds of the voters approved for legalization of Maryland recreational marijuana’s laws.
Long queues were witnessed at dispensaries during the launch
Customers began to queue at dispensaries long before the official opening time ready to buy. The Washington Post reported queues began to build at the weed dispensary in Silver Spring before the store’s opening time. A reggae band was present to entertain the shoppers with songs such as Lovely Day and September by Bill Withers and Earth, Wind and Fire respectively.
The CEO of Green Thumb Industries Mr. Ben Kovler said he welcomed Maryland recreational marijuana launch for the first time in the state. Green Thumb owns four Rise medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. In his statement, Kover noted that over two in every three Americans support the legalization of adult-use weed. He said what was witnessed in Maryland and other states is a reflection of the support Americans have for cannabis legalization across all states.
Long queues were also witnessed at Culta, Baltimore as Far & Dotter dispensary opened its doors to the public. The store located in Timonium is owned by Curio Wellness. ReLeaf Shop, a cannabis dispensary located in Baltimore upgraded its store in readiness for the official start of Maryland recreational marijuana’s laws. Connor Whelton, the CEO of the dispensary said they brought in more products and hired more staff and security ahead of the launch.
What range of products is recreational marijuana legal in Maryland?
After voters passed question four in November, legislators passed the necessary regulatory laws in April. The purpose of the laws is to govern the production and sales of Maryland recreational marijuana. Governor Wes Moore signed the bill into law in May which set the ground ready for legal sales to begin on July 1.
Any adult in Maryland from 21 years old and above is now allowed to buy recreational marijuana, carry it, and use it without fear of arrest. The user must however provide proper identification to be allowed to make purchases. Many users might not yet know what range of products is recreational marijuana legal in Maryland. Any adult 21 years and above in Maryland is free to buy any cannabis legal products such as:
Police barred from searching based on marijuana odor or possession
At the same time, another law against the police was enforced. They can no longer conduct a marijuana search based on odor or possession. Still, another law was passed to protect parents and guardians who use cannabis. Based on the law, they cannot be accused of child neglect by state officials due to the use of marijuana at home.
The Maryland recreational marijuana’s laws make it legal to possess and cultivate weed for personal use. The state regulators have approved almost 100 dispensaries to start operations on dual licenses. That means they can sell both legal medical and adult-use marijuana to users 21 years old and above.
Legislators in the state are working round the clock to ensure the adult-use cannabis laws infrastructure is correctly in place and alignment with all legal procedures. Beyond the licensed dispensaries, the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) also licensed 42 cultivators and suppliers to help meet the high demand in the new market.
The MCA’s acting director Will Tilburg announced in his statement on Friday. He said the cultivators and suppliers will offer to the public cannabis products that are tested, legal, and safer to adult Marylanders. Will encouraged adult users to familiarize themselves with the Maryland recreational marijuana’s laws the govern purchase, growing, possession, and use of cannabis in the state.
What the Maryland recreational marijuana allows or prohibit
- The laws allow the possession and use of cannabis products with 10 mg of THC per serving.
- The products should not exceed 100 gm of THC per package
- Users must be 21 years old and above and must properly identify themselves
- Marijuana smoking in public is prohibited. This includes public spaces in bars, restaurants, public vehicles, and parks.
- It is prohibited to drive when intoxicated by cannabis
- It is prohibited to transport marijuana products beyond Maryland borders.
The MCA has created public awareness materials to educate the public about the responsible and safe use of cannabis products. The sensitization campaigns will continue into the next few weeks and months. The materials have already been distributed to the dispensaries to be shared with the public. They include posters for display around the dispensaries and brochures to give away to the public. The main message in the materials is to educate the public to start slow and go slow on the product’s use.
Maryland recreational marijuana sales are expected to triple within one year
MCA’s acting director Will Tilburg said he expects adult-use cannabis sales to triple within the next year. The Maryland Cannabis Administration is the new agency that was established after the laws changed the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The new agency will oversee all processes starting from cultivation to production, packaging, sales, transporting, and consumption of cannabis products.
The state’s Department of Commerce is already accepting new applications from cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and dispensaries. Existing medical use dispensaries have already applied for dual licenses to help them serve the adult-use market. The passing of the law came as a result of spirited efforts from advocates, legislators, and residents.
It eliminated criminal penalties if found in possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Users can grow up to 2 plants at home for personal use. They can offer cannabis as a gift to users without requiring remuneration. The law also automatically expunges convictions. Those already serving their sentences are free to be represented by lawyers.