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The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) was established to oversee the state’s medical cannabis program. Its main responsibilities include issuing patient licenses, maintaining a database of authorized medical cannabis dispensaries, and supervising the issuance and renewal of commercial cannabis licenses to dispensaries, cultivators, and labs.

To operate a dispensary in Maryland, applicants must go through a multi-stage licensing process. The initial step involves submitting an application for a dispensary license. Once the application is approved, the applicant proceeds to the second stage of the process, which requires a non-refundable fee of $4,000. If the business is ultimately approved to operate in Maryland, it will be responsible for a licensing fee of $80,000. This fee must be paid every two years upon renewal of the license.

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Maryland has a limited history with cannabis legalization. In 2014, the state passed a medical cannabis law, which allowed for the use of cannabis for certain medical conditions with a doctor’s recommendation. However, the implementation of the program was delayed by regulatory challenges and legal disputes, leading to a slow rollout of medical cannabis sales

In 2010, Maryland had the fifth-highest overall arrest rate for marijuana possession in the United States, with 409 arrests per 100,000 residents. In that year, marijuana arrests made up 49.9% of all drug possession arrests in the state. In 2014, the state legislature decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use and created comprehensive guidelines for medical cannabis. Possession of less than 10 grams of recreational cannabis is now considered a civil offense in Maryland.

In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, making it a civil offense with a fine rather than a criminal offense with the possibility of jail time.

Beginning on July 2023, adults 21 and older can legally purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries without a medical card. Recreational consumers will be able to buy cannabis alongside medical patients who use the drug to ease the symptoms of serious illnesses.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.