If you are a resident of Maryland, you should be aware of the paraphernalia laws in order to avoid penalties that range from fines to jail time.
Marijuana is legal in Maryland for medical use, while simple possession for recreational use is decriminalized. Only moderate civil fines apply for possession of small amounts, but the weight limits are low and more serious offenses come with substantial penalties.
Possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less is decriminalized in Maryland and is subject to a civil fine of no more than $100. But possession of larger amounts is a crime. If the weight is between 10 grams and 50 pounds, the maximum penalty is one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Possessing more than 50 pounds is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Possession of any amount of marijuana with intent to deliver it is a felony. If the amount is less than 50 pounds, the maximum penalty is five years in prison and $15,000. The penalties are the same with weights greater than 50 pounds, except that a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years is imposed.
Maryland has a so-called “drug kingpin” statute that penalizes certain high-volume traffickers with at least 20 years in prison and as many as 40, plus up to $1 million in fines.
Possession with intent carries enhanced penalties when it occurs in a school vehicle or within 1,000 feet of an elementary or secondary school. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. For subsequent offenses, there is a manfactory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 40, and up to $40,000 in fines.
Any involvement of a minor can result in up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
It is a felony to traffic marijuana in Maryland, and any cannabis offense involving 5 or more kilograms is considered trafficking. If the amount is between 5 and 45 kilograms, the top penalty is 10 years in prison plus $10,000 in fines.
For amounts greater than 45 kilograms, the top trafficking penalty is 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. A sentence of at least five years in prison and as many as 20 applies for trafficking while in possession of a firearm.
Cultivation of cannabis is treated under simple possession laws. The same weight limits and penalties apply.
Hash and Concentrates
The same penalties and weight limits that apply to traditional marijuana flower also apply to hashish, hash oil, and other cannabis concentrates.
Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a civil offense in Maryland, but any sale or advertising are illegal unless intended, marketed, and used only for legal purposes. Paraphernalia includes all drug-related items, including objects used in the cultivation, harvesting, storage, testing, analysis, concealment or use of marijuana.
Possession and use. Possession of paraphernalia is a civil offense, subject to a fine not exceeding $500.
Sale and distribution. It is also a misdemeanor to sell paraphernalia. A first offense is subject to a maximum $500 fine, while subsequent offenses are punishable by as much as two years behind bars and $2,000 in fines. Advertising the distribution of paraphernalia, also a misdemeanor, also carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and $2,000.
Sale to a minor. Selling cannabis paraphernalia to a minor at least three years younger than the seller is likewise a misdemeanor, punishable by up to eight years in prison and $15,000.
Maryland introduced a medical marijuana law in 2013 which required hospitals to learn how to get involved in the distribution of cannabis. Unsurprisingly, none have done so, so a new law was enacted in 2014 allowing dispensaries and growers to provide medical marijuana to registered patients who have received a written recommendation from their physician.
Qualifying conditions – Cachexia/Anorexia/Wasting syndrome, Chronic pain, Nausea, Seizures, Severe or persistent muscle spasms
Patient possession limits – 30-day supply. Edible cannabis products are not permitted.
Home cultivation – No
State-licensed dispensaries – No
Caregivers – No
Reciprocity – No
Contact information – Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission
|Less than 10 g||Civil Offense||None||$ 100|
|10g – less than 50 lbs||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|50 lbs or more||Felony||5 years*||$ 100,000|
|Offenses involving the use of marijuana in public carries a civil fine of up to $500|
|Increased fines for subsequent offenders|
With intent to distribute
|Less than 50 lbs||Felony||5 years||$ 15,000|
|50 lbs or more**||Felony||5 years*||$ 15,000|
|More than 50 lbs (drug kingpin)||Felony||20* – 40 years||$ 1,000,000|
|In a school vehicle, or in, on, or within 1000 feet of an elementary or secondary school||Felony||20 years||$ 20,000|
|Subsequent violation||Felony||5* – 40 years||$ 40,000|
|Involving a minor||Felony||20 years||$ 20,000|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
|** Subsequent offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years|
|More than 5 – less than 45 kg||Felony||10 years||$ 10,000|
|45 kg or more||Felony||25 years||$ 50,000|
|In possession of a firearm while trafficking||Felony||5* – 20 years||N/A|
|* Mandatory minimum sentence|
|See Possession section for details.|
Hash & Concentrates
|Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.|
|Possession of drug paraphernalia||Civil Offense||None||$ 0|
|Sale/Advertising distribution of drug paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||None||$ 500|
|Subsequent violation||Misdemeanor||2 years||$ 2,000|
|Selling to a minor who is at least 3 years younger||Misdemeanor||8 years||$ 15,000|
|Possession/Sale controlled paraphernalia||Misdemeanor||1 year||$ 1,000|
|Paraphernalia includes all equipment and materials used in the use, manufacture, or distribution of marijuana.|