On Election Day 2022, Maryland voters approved Question 4, a ballot question to legalize cannabis for adults. The ballot question and cannabis bills passed by the Maryland Legislature in 2023 take effect July 1, 2023.
The new law allows adults, 21 years and older, to cultivate up to two plants per household, regardless of the number of adults living at the residence. The plants must be out of public view and not accessible by unauthorized individuals or minors. Cannabis plants may only be grown on property owned by the grower or with the consent of the property owner. (Md. Code, Criminal Law § 5-601.2.) Qualifying patients (people with medical cannabis cards) or their caregivers can cultivate up to four plants per household.
Marylanders rely on University of Maryland Extension’s (UME) science-based information and recommended practices to grow field and garden crops sustainably. Due to federal law, UME cannot advise commercial or backyard cannabis growers. Cannabis is still classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal at the federal level to possess and use cannabis. The University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources receives federal funding to support faculty, staff, and programs. Assisting cannabis growers would risk loss of funding and prosecution.
Other land-grant universities with Extension programs face the same prohibition related to cannabis research and education. We can provide cannabis growing support only if cannabis is re-scheduled and decriminalized federally.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (Adult Use Cannabis Legalization)