The recreational use of cannabis won’t be legal in Maryland until July 2023 but several changes in state laws on weed have gone already into effect. Reduced penalties for marijuana possession became the norm on Jan. 1, 2023.
New penalties for cannabis possession
Starting Jan. 1, possession of up to 2.5 ounces is a civil offense. Fines max out at $100 for possession of up to 1.5 ounces and $250 for up to 2.5 ounces. Previously, possession of less than 10 grams was a civil offense. Possession of 10 grams or more was a criminal offense with penalties including up to six months of jail time and fines of up to $1,000.
Starting July 1, 2023, adults over age 21 will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces.
An Ocean City marijuana lawyer can provide more details.
New penalty for possession with intent to distribute
The penalty for possession with the intent to distribute has also been reduced. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, the categorization of the offense changes from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Expungement under the new law
Expungement is also easier under the new cannabis law. Some offenses related to marijuana, such as simple possession, will be expunged automatically from state criminal records databases. Those who are in jail for simple possession can apply for resentencing and release.
The wait time for applying for expungement of some marijuana-related charges such as possession with intent distribute charge has been reduced.
The “unit rule,” a complicated requirement that disqualified many charges from expungement won’t be applicable in certain circumstances.
An Ocean City expungement lawyer can provide more details.
Marylanders can also grow their own cannabis plants at home starting July 1, 2023. The limit is two plants.
Medical use of marijuana
The medical use of marijuana has been legal Maryland since 2013.
Evolution of Maryland’s laws on cannabis
Maryland’s laws on weed have changed over the past many years. The offense moved from a criminal to a civil violation. Possession of 10 grams or less was decriminalized in 2014.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh civil and criminal record expungement needs. An Ocean City expungement lawyer can help you to get your record cleared. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or through the website for a free consultation.