Last week, the Maryland House and Senate voted and passed House Bill 1, which will add a constitutional amendment for cannabis use on the ballot in this November’s election.
According to the Cannabis Business Times, “the Maryland House voted, 94-39, on April 1 to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot via House Bill 1, asking the state’s constituency if it favors legalization of cannabis use by those 21 and older by July 1, 2023. That vote concurred with Senate amendments to the bill.”
House Bill 837, which outlines policies if voters approve the measure, including legalizing possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana and up to two marijuana plants for personal use, has also passed.
Per Maryland Matters, “Lawmakers gave approval to two bills that would allow residents 21 and older to possess small amounts of marijuana — up to 1.5 ounces — beginning next year. Possession of between 1.5 and 2.5 ounces would be subject to a civil citation.”
Individuals caught with more than the legal amount would be subject to the Maryland’s existing laws on possession with intent distribute.
The bills would also allow households to grow two marijuana plants, as long as they are out of view and inaccessible to the public.
According to the report, “the measures would also permit some inmates who have been convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana to petition for their immediate release, and some people who have been convicted of possession could seek expungement of their records.”
The house also passed House Bill 837 in February, which will require a “baseline study of cannabis use in the State by March 1, 2023; altering certain provisions relating to penalties, charging procedures, expungement, shielding, and sentencing for certain offenses involving cannabis; legalizing the use and possession of a certain quantity of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years old; establishing the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council and a Cannabis Public Health Fund; etc.”