Portions of Maryland’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis law are now in effect, including reduced fines and penalties, WMAR 2 News reports. The law, which is in a ‘transitional’ period, will be in full force starting July 1.
Individuals caught with up to an ounce of cannabis will face no charges but those caught with an ounce and a half face a civil offense and a maximum fine of $100. Those found possessing between one and a half ounces and two ounces will face a $250 fine. Individuals caught with any amount over two ounces will be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Individuals with criminal charges for cannabis may now also ask the courts to expunge their sentence once they have completed it. Prior to the reforms, individuals had to wait up to four years to seek relief. Under the law, all possession charges in the state have to be removed from court listings by July 1, 2024, the report says.
Also beginning this year, the state’s medical cannabis industry will be regulated by Maryland’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the state announced last month. The change was included under the voter-backed adult-use legalization initiative.
Adult-use sales are not expected in Maryland until 2024 or 2025.
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