This session, the Coalition is supporting legislation that would let the people decide whether to tax and regulate cannabis in Maryland by putting the issue on the 2018 ballot: SB 1039 and HB 1264.

Click here to download a summary of what the bills would do. And click here for a one-page handout on why we think lawmakers should support them!

 


Coalition Victories!

This bill became law without action by Gov. Hogan and took effect on October 1, 2017:

SB 949 — Expungement for Marijuana Possession Convictions

Passed in 2016 but took effect on June 1, 2017: HB 104 — Medical Marijuana

  • Summary: This bill allows additional types of medical practitioners, who are already allowed to prescribe drugs, to recommend medical cannabis: dentists, podiatrists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners.
  • Click here to see sponsors and get the full text.

This bill we opposed did NOT pass. It was amended in the House and died in the Judicial Proceedings Committee in the Senate: HB 1043 — Re-criminalization of Public Smoking

  • Summary: As introduced, this bill would have recriminalized smoking in public, which is already subject to a $500 civil fine. It would have helped continue the racially disparate enforcement of low-level marijuana offenses, effectively rolling back decriminalization efforts. That provision was removed before the bill passed the House. What remained was an (overly broad) provision that would have criminalized consuming cannabis in vehicles.
  • Click here to see sponsors and get the full text.
  • For more information, see this fact sheet - MCPC Opposes Re-criminalizing Public Consumption.

This bill we opposed did NOT pass. It died in the Judicial Proceedings Committee in the Senate: HB 777 — Re-criminalization of Public Smoking

  • Summary: This bill would also have recriminalized smoking in public.
  • Legislative History: This bill did pass the House before being killed in the Senate. Click here to see how your delegate voted.

Passed, vetoed, veto overridden, and took effect on February 20, 2016: SB 517 — Decriminalization of Marijuana Paraphernalia

  • Summary: This bill decriminalized cannabis paraphernalia, which was essential to finishing the 2014 decriminalization law, because people were still being criminally prosecuted for possessing the baggie or rolling paper their marijuana was in.

Click here to see sponsors and get the full text.

Passed on April 14, 2014, took effect on October 1, 2014: SB 364 — Decriminalization of Marijuana

  • Summary: This bill reduced the penalty for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana to a $100 civil fine for a first offense, with no jail time. Subsequent offenses carry higher fines, with a third offense requiring attendance at a drug education program and referral to assessment for substance abuse. Previously, the penalty for even a first offense was up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.

Click here to see sponsors and get the full text.

Passed and took effect on June 1, 2014: HB 881 — Medical Cannabis — Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission

  • Summary: This bill expanded the medical marijuana program to allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis directly to qualifying patients. It also authorized the Commission to license cultivators to produce medical cannabis, which can be delivered directly to patients. This bill finally created an effective medical cannabis law in Maryland.

Click here to see sponsors and get the full text.

2017 Bills to Tax and Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol

(For talking points on these bills, please click here.)

These bills did not receive committee votes, but all had hearings and helped lay the groundwork for passing an adult-use law in Maryland in the future.

Senate bills:

SB 927 — Taxation and Revenue from the Adult Use of Cannabis

  • Summary: Sets excise and tax rates for the sale of cannabis and distributes the revenue; 50% would go to high-poverty schools
  • Click here for a more detailed summary.
  • Full text
  • Sponsor: Richard Madaleno (D – Montgomery County)
  • Co-sponsors: Smith, Feldman, and Manno

SB 928 — Regulation and Legalization of the Adult Use of Cannabis

  • Summary: Legalizes the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up; sets up a system of regulated businesses to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis
  • Click here for a more detailed summary.
  • Full text
  • Sponsor: Richard Madaleno (D – Montgomery County)
  • Co-sponsors: Currie, Feldman, Ferguson, Guzzone, Kelley, and Smith

House bills:

HB 1185 — Regulation and Legalization of the Adult Use of Cannabis

Note: This bill is identical to SB 928.

  • Summary: Legalizes the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up; sets up a system of regulated businesses to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis
  • Click here for a more detailed summary.
  • Sponsor: Curt Anderson (D – Baltimore City)
  • Co-sponsors: Barnes, Barve, Branch, Carr, Conaway, Cullison, Fennell, Fraser-Hidalgo, Glenn, Gutierrez, Hixson, Kelly, Korman, Lewis, Lierman, Luedtke, McIntosh, A. Miller, Moon, Morales, Oaks, Platt, Robinson, Rosenberg, Sanchez, Turner, Waldstreicher, M. Washington, and Wilkins

HB 1186 — Taxation and Revenue from the Adult Use of Cannabis

Note: This bill is identical to SB 927.

  • Summary: Legalizes the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up; sets up a system of regulated businesses to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis.
  • Click here for a more detailed summary.
  • Sponsor: Mary Washington (D – Baltimore City)
  • Co-sponsors: Washington, Luedtke, Anderson, Barron, Ebersole, Gutierrez, Hixson, Korman, Lierman, McCray, McIntosh, A. Miller, Moon, Morales, Platt, Reznik, Robinson, Tarlau, Waldstreicher, A. Washington, and Wilkins

Other Bills We Supported in Prior Sessions

2016:
HB 1580 — Tax and Regulate Marijuana — CONTRoL Act (Cannabis Oversight and Nondiscrimination Through Regulation and Legalization)

  • Summary: This bill would have allowed individuals to possess up to an ounce of cannabis (marijuana) and grow up to six plants, as well as setting up a system of taxed and regulated cultivators and dispensaries.

2014:
HB 880 
– The Marijuana Control Act of 2014

  • Summary: This bill would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, possess, and grow limited amounts of marijuana. It would have taken cannabis off the criminal market and regulated and taxed it. 

SB 658 – The Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act

  • Summary: This bill would have allowed adults 21 and older to use, possess, and grow limited amounts of marijuana. It would have taken cannabis off the criminal market and regulated and taxed it.