Howard County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Howard County?

Yes. In 2022, the State of Maryland approved the legalization of adult use and possession of marijuana. More than half (66%) of the voters in the state were in favor of this constitutional amendment. 65% of the voters in Howard County answered yes to Maryland Question 4.

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) issues licenses and identification cards to growers who seek to cultivate cannabis plants in a controlled facility. The business may then sell its products to licensed processors and dispensaries. Unlike in other states, Maryland does not provide for a minimum or a maximum number of cannabis plants that a grower may cultivate.

As for private individuals, adults aged 21 may legally cultivate up to two cannabis plants in their homes, away from the public eye. A household may grow a maximum of two plants, regardless of the number of adults who reside therein.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Howard County?

Yes. The MMCC has named 15 pre-approved processors, which surpassed Stage One of the licensing. As of writing, there have been no final cannabis processor licenses issued. The Commissioners have yet to discuss and draft standard requirements for the issuance of permits.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Statutory Provisions defined processor as an entity that transforms cannabis into another product or extract, and packages and labels them. Processors obtain cannabis flowers, shakes, buds, or trims from growers and convert them into cannabis-infused products in the form of tinctures, oils, capsules, creams, waxes, sublingual sprays, and patches, among others. These businesses then sell to dispensaries.

The MMCC has set regulations for the packaging, labeling, marketing, and appearance of cannabis products.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Howard County?

Yes. Starting July 1, 2023, persons who are 21 years old are legally allowed to purchase and use cannabis products. Following the recent legalization of non-medical cannabis in Maryland, the state has yet to create a framework for regulating the sale of recreational marijuana. The General Assembly will update the date when residents may purchase the items in the market.

The law established the maximum personal use amount of non-medical cannabis – 1.5 ounces for cannabis flowers, 12 grams for concentrated cannabis, or not exceeding 750 mg THC for a combination of cannabis products. Consumers may be able to purchase cannabis edibles.

On the other hand, licensed cannabis dispensaries authorized to sell medical cannabis as dried flowers, in processed forms, or other devices to patients and caregivers are allowed. In every dispensary, a clinical director shall be available for consultations, questions, or communications in person or via electronic means to educate patients and caregivers on the different medical cannabis treatments for certain conditions, drug-to-drug interactions, and possible side effects.

Registered patients in the Medical Marijuana Program may possess up to 120 grams of usable cannabis, mainly dried flower, per a 30-day supply. Since marijuana content in medical cannabis-infused products is not equivalent to dried flower cannabis, the MMCC fixed a limit of 36 grams of THC for every 30-day supply.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Howard County?

Yes. Dispensary employees may deliver and transport medical cannabis to patients and caregivers, who are holders of MMCC IDs. However, the State of Maryland has not categorically provided if non-medical cannabis product delivery will be allowed.

It remains unlawful to transport cannabis products across state borders.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Howard County

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Program became operational in December 2017. Since then, the MMCC has seen immense growth in the number of patients, medical cannabis sales, and issuance of grower, processor, and dispensary licenses.

The MMCC warns that only the Commission issues patient and caregiver ID Cards. The steps to obtain a medical marijuana ID card in Maryland are the following:

  1. Submit an online adult patient registration. Upon MMCC's approval of your application, you will receive your MMCC-issued ID number.

  2. Secure a valid written certification from a registered provider in the MMCC. The applicant must maintain a bonafide provider-patient relationship with the physician. The physician reviews the patient’s medical records and completes an assessment of the patient’s medical history, and can certify that the patient’s condition is qualified to receive medical cannabis treatment.

  3. After the MMCC approves your application and you receive the provider's written certification, log in to the Maryland OneStop Portal to order your approved patient ID card.

The MMCC lists the qualifying conditions that a provider may issue a certification allowing the patient to receive medical cannabis:

  • Chronic or debilitating medical condition or disease that causes:

    • Anorexia

    • Cachexia

    • Glaucoma

    • Seizures

    • Severe or chronic pain

    • Severe nausea

    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

    • Wasting syndrome, or

  • Other chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffectual.


Phone: 410-487-8100 or 1-844-421-2571


How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Howard County?

According to the data provided by the MMCC in 2021, an average of over $45 million in sales monthly was generated by cannabis dispensaries in Maryland. The following year, or in 2022, the Commission reports a monthly average of more than $43 million in dispensary sales for the first three quarters.

Medical marijuana is not subject to sales tax. The Maryland sales and use tax are not applicable to medicines (including medical cannabis) unless the legislature explicitly exempts a product. As for non-medical marijuana, the recent constitutional amendment legalizing adult use and possession of marijuana has yet to direct lawmakers to enact laws for the taxation of marijuana.

The cannabis legalization being new, the MMCC conducted a case study on the Implementation and Potential Tax Revenue in Maryland. It sought to analyze the market in estimating the potential economic impact of legalizing marijuana for adult use.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Howard County

In 2021, the FBI Crime Data Explorer revealed more than 1,000 arrests for marijuana possession and nearly 300 arrests for marijuana sale or manufacturing in Maryland.

The Maryland Department of State Police released the 2020 Uniform Crime Report, which reports crime statistics, including marijuana possession, sale, or manufacturing arrests. Data showed that the highest percentage of drug arrests involved marijuana at over 57% in 2020 and nearly 57% in 2019. Other drug arrests involve opium/cocaine, synthetic drugs, and other drugs.

From 2019 to 2020, arrests for marijuana possession went down by around 32%, while arrests for selling or manufacturing marijuana decreased by 36%.

In Howard County alone, marijuana sale or manufacturing arrests went down from 25 to 21 (-16%) from 2019 to 2020. Meanwhile, there was a 57% decrease (from 400 to 170) in arrests for marijuana possession in the same period.

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