7 Key Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws Patients Must Know
There are several key Maryland medical marijuana laws every current and prospective patient must know. For instance, did you know that you can get into serious legal hot water for owning a gun as a medical cardholder? Or that your card-carrying status doesn’t protect you from disciplinary action at work? We’ve listed the most important laws that every patient in Maryland should be aware of.
The following represents just a basic overview of state laws and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Speak to an attorney if you have any questions about the laws as they pertain to your own patient status.
1. Federal Law Prohibits Gun Owners From Accessing Medical Marijuana
If you’re a medical marijuana patient, you are legally prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm. This law comes from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and it applies in Maryland and nationwide.
Under the law, gun dealers are required to conduct a thorough background check on all prospective buyers. The background check includes a Firearms Transaction Records form, on which buyers must answer the following question: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” At the federal level, all marijuana use is considered unlawful. Furthermore, the government defines an “addict” as any habitual user.
State senate passed a bill in 2019 that was supposed to make it legal for Maryland medical marijuana card holders to own a firearm (SB0097), but the bill has not been enacted.
2. You Can Be Fired From Your Job for Using Medical Marijuana in Maryland
Some states have introduced workplace protections for medical marijuana patients, but Maryland has approved no such legislation thus far. In other words, your employer still reserves the right to drug-test you and impose disciplinary action if you test positive for THC. Your medical marijuana card won’t protect you.
The website of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) specifies that “Maryland law does not prevent an employer from testing for use of cannabis (for any reason) or taking action against an employee who tests positive for use of cannabis (for any reason).” In addition, the law expressly does not prevent “civil, criminal, or other penalties for” using medical marijuana “when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.”
The state’s medical marijuana law does specify that caregivers “may not be” “denied any right or privilege” for administering medical marijuana to patients so long as they do so in accordance with the law.
3. Maryland Medical Marijuana Patients Can Only Possess 120 Grams of Cannabis
Patients are only allowed to possess a maximum of 120 grams of medical marijuana at a time. In addition, patients are limited to purchasing no more than 36 grams of medical marijuana per month. The state’s track-and-trace system logs all patient purchases and ensures that nobody exceeds their monthly limit.
The only exception to this rule is if your physician recommends more than the typically allotted amount. This would need to be specified in the physician’s written recommendation.
4. You May Not Grow Your Own Medical Cannabis Plants
All medical marijuana must be purchased from a licensed Maryland dispensary. Cultivation is limited to state-licensed grow facilities. Marijuana doesn’t have a specific statute related to growing, and so cultivation is typically treated as a possession or distribution offense. If you’re charged with possession with intent to distribute, you could face up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine even for a single plant.
5. You Do Not Have to Disclose Your Medical Marijuana to Law Enforcement
Legal medical marijuana patients are not required to disclose to law enforcement that they possess cannabis. If you’re pulled over by law enforcement and the officer doesn’t have probable cause related to a crime, you don’t have to consent to a vehicle search.
Always carry your medical marijuana card with you. If a law enforcement official does find cannabis in your possession, you should be able to present this to them and verify that you’re a legal patient. If you don’t have your card, you can also direct the law enforcement official to the Maryland Cannabis Commission Database.
6. Out-of-State Medical Marijuana Cards Are Not Accepted in Maryland
Maryland does not have a reciprocity agreement with other states, so your Missouri medical marijuana card won’t be valid. However, because Maryland doesn’t have a strict residency requirement like other states, out-of-state visitors can register with the MMCC and receive a state-recognized card.
7. Process for Accessing Maryland Medical Marijuana Is Different From Other States
Most states require you to first obtain your physician’s recommendation and then register as a patient. Maryland’s process is a bit different. Here, you’ll need to first create an account at the MMCC website and then undergo your physician’s evaluation. Your physician will provide a copy of your written recommendation to the MMCC, after which you can return to the website and print your temporary Maryland medical marijuana card.
You can get your doctor recommendation for a Maryland medical marijuana card online using our telemedicine option. Green Health Docs are state-licensed physicians who evaluate you and provide you with a written recommendation. To schedule your appointment, call us at 1-877-242-0362 or apply online. Obtaining your card is your first step to being in full compliance with Maryland medical marijuana laws.