After a majority of voters approved Maryland’s Question 4 on the 2022 ballot last year, the state’s new adult-use cannabis program was set in motion. Now, the Old Line State is preparing to officially launch recreational sales this weekend, on Saturday, July 1.
The sales kick-off comes right before the Fourth of July, though many cannabis businesses appear to be embracing the combination of events, adding a bit of extra oomph to the historic moment for the state. Recreational sales are set to kick off more than five years after Maryland first began selling medicinal cannabis.
Maryland Gears Up For a Major Weekend
Approximately 100 stores are already licensed to sell medicinal cannabis will be able to start selling it recreationally on Saturday.
“This is cannabis’ kind of Independence Day — over Independence Day weekend — and so it’s nice to be able to pull something together that makes it more of a celebratory occasion,” said Brandon Barksdale, co-CEO of Remedy Maryland, via
In addition to the medical dispensaries with dual licensure approved for adult-use sales so far, the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA)
It will likely be a busy weekend ahead, given the holiday weekend and a potential boost in travel. Maryland could also see a surge of out-of-state customers from neighboring states like Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Maryland’s Adult-Use Cannabis Program: The Details
The government has worked diligently since November to quickly roll out the framework, taxation and regulatory systems for the new adult-use program.
Starting July 1, adults 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis; the voter-approved referendum also removed criminal penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces. Additionally, adults 21 and older will be allowed to grow up to two plants for personal use and to gift cannabis to other adults over 21.
Not much should change for medical patients, though the new law does specifically
The law forbids cannabis smoking in public spaces, including parks, streets, sidewalks, bars and restaurants, public transportation and workplaces.
The law also creates a process to expunge all criminal cases with possession of fewer than 10 grams of cannabis as the only charge.
Maryland’s cannabis tax is 9%, the same rate as alcohol sales. The majority of the revenue will fund the Maryland Cannabis Administration, which regulators businesses and enforces state cannabis laws. Thirty-five percent of the revenue will also go toward communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.
The Road Ahead
Maryland counties and municipalities are looking ahead at the possibility of licensing establishments for
Cannabis delivery also won’t be available right away, but micro-dispensaries will be allowed to deliver. Licensure for these businesses begins Jan. 1, 2024.
More licenses will be distributed early next year, with a larger emphasis on addressing equity concerns for minority- and women-owned cannabis businesses. The law allows the Maryland Cannabis Administration to issue additional licenses across the industry over two licensing rounds.
Only time will tell how exactly this new market takes shape. In any case, a huge congrats to Maryland on officially joining the ranks of states with legal recreational cannabis programs!