Policy Recommendations Maryland

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Maryland

In 2019, Governor Hogan signed HB 17 into law, legislation authorizing the manufacturing and medical sale of cannabis edible products. In 2020 Maryland saw HB 671/SB 604 become law. This important measure permits administration of medical cannabis to qualified minor patients to medicate on school grounds and on the school bus, and state regulators are expected to have guidelines in place for this new system feature before the end of the year. Legislation to expand Maryland decriminalization laws was tabled in 2020, and a state working group assembled to consider a state approach to adult-use cannabis opted against recommending any approach for 2020.

Maryland declared medical cannabis businesses essential as part of the state's COVID emergency response, which maintains patient access during this global health crisis.26 Additional features include permission for licensed retailers to deliver to patients and for patients to preorder and pick up their order curbside. Finally the state also is allowing patients to use telehealth for system reenrollment rather than in-person physician visits.

Maryland has been thoughtful in their adoption of consumer safety and provider requirements, earning them a perfect score in this category, but work remains to provide civil protections for patients including parental rights, employment protections, housing and organ transplants. While Maryland's affirmative defense provision has been used in limited instances to protect patients growing their own medicine, ASA recommends that the state explicitly provide for patients and caregivers to grow their own medicine.