Maryland legislators passed two bills to legalize marijuana during the 2022 Maryland General Assembly: HB 837 starts to address racially biased marijuana enforcement, and HB 1 is a ballot measure. HB 837 does some pretty amazing things, like establishing a Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund to bring tax revenues directly to communities most impacted by the war on marijuana, allowing expungement of records for possession with intent to distribute after three years, automatic expungement of records for simple possession of marijuana, allowing for up to two homegrown plants per household, and increasing the allowed personal amount from 10 grams to 1.5 ounces.
Learn more about ACLU of Maryland's work to legalize marijuana and establish community repartations on the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Guide to the 2022 Legislative Session.
What do you need to know now that it seems clear legal recreational marijuana is coming to Maryland? We created a timeline to better explain how legalization will be rolled out in Maryland.
(Timeline designed by Nicole McCann)
JANUARY 1, 2023
- Possession Limit: The personal use amount becomes up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. From Jan 1 - Jun 30, 2023, you could get a $100 civil fine for possession of the personal use amount. If you are caught with a civil use amount (between 1.5 to 2.5 ounces) of marijuana, you could get a $250 fine. The possession of more than 2.5 ounces is a misdemeanor offense that carries a penalty of 6 months in jail or a $1000 fine.
- Public Use: Smoking in public will bring a $250 fine for a first offense and a $500 fine for a second or subsequent offense.
- Paraphernalia: Marijuana paraphernalia excluded from definitions of paraphernalia in Criminal Law (notably things like scales and bongs).
- Possession with Intent to Distribute: PWID is a misdemeanor punishable by 3 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
- Record Expungement: Automatic expungement of past simple possession charges that occurred before July 1, 2023. Goes into effect January 1, but must be completed by July 1, 2024.
- Resentencing: A person incarcerated for simple possession may apply for resentencing. If they are not serving a concurrent sentence for another crime, they must be released.
- Petition to Expunge: Anyone with a PWID conviction from before 2023 can petition to expunge it 3 years after they have completed their sentence, including probation and parole.
JUNE 30, 2023
- Possession Limit – Civil Fines Expire: The 6 month time period expires (January 1-June 30, 2023) when people 21 and up could get civil fines for possession of the personal use amount (up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana). People 21 and up will no longer be at risk of getting a civil fine for possessing the personal amount.
JULY 1, 2023
- Age to Use: For people 21 and up, the civil use amount is still 1.5 to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and carries a $250 fine. However, it will be legal to possess the personal use amount of 1.5 ounces of marijuana.
- Growing Your Own: Cultivation of 2 plants per residence becomes legal. Growing more than the legal limit is a misdemeanor offense that is subject to a penalty of imprisonment for up to 3 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Age to Share: For people 21 and up, adult sharing is permitted.
- Age Restriction: For people under 21, you could get a $100 fine for using or possessing the personal use amount, and a $250 fine for using or possessing the civil use amount. People under 21 may be required to appear in court for citations.
JULY 1, 2024
- Record Expungement: Deadline for automatic expungement of simple possession charges issued before July 1 2023.