Maryland's Medical Cannabis Laws & Regulations Maryland's Medical Cannabis Laws & Regulations

In 2003, Maryland passed the Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act recognizing medical marijuana and establishing a so-called affirmative defense for patients. However, even if sufficient medical necessity can be shown, a patient can still be convicted of a misdemeanor offense and be charged a $100 fine. Furthermore, the law only applies to defendants possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.

In 2011, Maryland passed SB 308, which amended the Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act to recognize specific medical conditions that may benefit from medical marijuana and to remove the misdemeanor penalty for patients that can show medical necessity. However, a $100 fine can still be imposed and patients who possess more than one ounce or consume their medication in public are not entitled to an affirmative defense. SB 308 also implements a workgroup to study the issue and make recommendations for a more comprehensive bill in 2012. ASA and other advocates will be working with the O'Malley administration and the Maryland legislature to craft a sensible bill that will better meet patients' needs.

Maryland’s HB 1101 (2013) does not create a comprehensive medical cannabis program for patients to obtain medicine from dispensaries or personal cultivation. However, the bill does create a mechanism for “Academic Medical Centers” to conduct research studies that would allow patients to use medical cannabis for the study. Additional, the bill calls for the formation of the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission, which is required to create regulations sometime during Fiscal Year 2014.

In 2014 and 2015, the law was revised under and HB 881 (2014) HB 490 (2015). Regulations went into effect on September 14, 2015.


SB 502 - Affirmative Defense (2003)

SB 308 - Work Group (2011)

HB 1101 - Academic Medical Centers (2013)

HB 180 - Affirmative Defense Expansion (2013)

HB 881/SB 923 - Dispensary Bill (2014)

HB 490 Program fixes (2015)

HB 104 Adding nurse practitioners, dentists, podiatrists, and midwives (2016)


Natalie LaPrade Medical Commission regulations are in Subtitle 62.