Nov 14, 2022 - News

Here's what you need to know about recreational weed in Maryland

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Maryland (and Missouri) will soon join 20 other states plus D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana, after voters approved an initiative last week, per the Associated Press.

Why it matters: The DMV is becoming even more weed-friendly, with recreational use legalized in Virginia, the District, and now Maryland.

Here’s what Marylanders 21 and older can do under the law, which takes effect July 1, 2023:

  • Use marijuana recreationally. 
  • Grow up to two cannabis plants. However, they must be kept out of public view.
  • Possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. More than that comes with potential fines and jail time.
And here’s what Marylanders can’t do: 
  • Buy recreational marijuana — yet. It'll be up to the General Assembly to set the retail, distribution, and taxation rules.
  • Smoke marijuana in public. 

Between the lines: The Washington Post reports that three Maryland counties rank in the top ten for highest rates of marijuana possession arrests.

  • The initiative's passage also means that by July 2024, all cases with possession of cannabis as the only charge must be automatically expunged if the charge was issued before July 2023.

Zoom out: Recreational marijuana was on the ballot in five states during the midterm elections and passed only in two – Maryland and Missouri. The measures failed in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 

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