Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
More and more people are becoming interested in the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol. Also known as CBD, this cannabinoid is found in both industrial hemp and in marijuana plants. Anecdotal reports and a small number of clinical trials may indicate that CBD can be helpful for a range of conditions that include seizures, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia and others.
However, many laws, including drug laws, are decided at the state level rather than federal. Because of this, it is always a good idea to look at the legality of the remedies that you investigate in the state where you live. This is what we’ve learned about the legality of CBD oil in Maryland.
Is CBD oil legal in Maryland?
Yes, CBD oil is legal in Maryland. Hemp-based CBD can be purchased by any resident or visitor to the state. There are no quantity limits or age restrictions.
Maryland residents with medical ID cards can also buy marijuana-based CBD products.
What are the current CBD laws in Maryland?
CBD, both hemp and, under certain circumstances, marijuana-based, are legal in Maryland. Maryland was actually ahead of many states when it came to hemp-based CBD. While most states only legalized hemp-based products after the 2018 Farm Bill, Maryland reclassified hemp in 2015.
As in many states, the history of hemp and cannabis legality has been long and complex. Maryland was once known for harsh penalties for sale and possession. The state had the fifth-highest overall arrest rate for marijuana; nearly half of all drug arrests in the state were for cannabis. However, in 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley signed a law that decriminalized possession of marijuana in quantities of 10 grams or less.
The state made many pushes for recreational legalization throughout the 2010s. However, none were successful.
The state did allow for legal medical marijuana through legislation enacted in 2012. The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), signed into law in 2013 by Governor Martin O’Malley, allowed for cannabis distribution from academic medical centers. This would allow researchers to monitor patients and learn more about the potential benefits of medical marijuana.
In 2016, the state allowed for more licenses to grow and process medical marijuana. Preliminary plans were developed for dispensaries to be permitted to distribute medical cannabis when licensed. In Maryland, a range of medical professionals that include physicians, dentists, podiatrists, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives ay certify patient eligibility for medical marijuana programs.
In 2017, the state finalized and began medical marijuana sales.
Many attempts were made over the years to legalize the cultivation and processing of hemp in the state. Prior to prohibition, hemp was a valuable commercial crop, and many were eager to return to it.
In 1999, the state House passed HB 374, which would have authorized the growth and processing of industrial hemp. Under the law, growers would be licensed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The state Senate, however, failed to vote on the bill.
A new move into legal hemp was made in 2000 with HB 1250. This bill established a four and a half year pilot program for the study of the growth and marketing of hemp products.
In 2013, the House proposed HB 1453, which would have reclassified hemp and also removed certain criminal penalties for possession of marijuana. However, the bill did not get past initial discussions in committee.
A similar bill in 2014, HB 1010, would have allowed the production and marketing of industrial hemp and would have exempted the crop from the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act. The bill passed the House but failed in the Senate.
In 2015, HB 803 was passed by both legislative branches and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. This bill altered the state’s definition of marijuana in such a way that industrial hemp was excluded. The law also allowed for the cultivation, processing possession and sale of hemp products in the state. This made Maryland one of the first to legally allow the sale of CBD. While CBD products have been available in most states for many years, this was one of the few where they were explicitly legal during that time.
The state passed another hemp law in 2016 with HB 443. This law allowed institutions of higher learning to cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. Institutions were certified by the state and subject to regulations in how they grew and processed hemp.
Cultivation of hemp became more widely legal in Maryland in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill legalized hemp growth federally by reclassifying hemp from a Schedule 1 substance to an agricultural commodity. The regulation of hemp cultivation was left to each state. Maryland’s program was put into place through HB 698, which repealed many earlier hemp provisions and established an industrial hemp pilot program in the state.
In 2019, HB 1123 altered the name of the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to the Hemp Research Pilot Program. The law also established a Hemp Farm Program to promote the plant as an agricultural commodity in the state. Under this law, regulations were also put into place that would prevent the cross pollination of marijuana and industrial hemp. Because hemp-based CBD products must contain less than .3% THC, these protections would ensure that hemp crops stayed within the legal limit. Crops that test higher than .3% must be destroyed, which means expensive crop loss for growers.
Maryland’s laws allow for the sale and possession of hemp-based CBD within the state. There is no minimum legal age to buy or possess hemp-based CBD, and no legal possession limits. Legally available forms include hemp flower, CBD oils, extracts and tinctures. You will also find topical CBD products legally available, such as lotions and ointments. Technically, it is not legal to add hemp-based CBD to edible products such as gummies, cookies and candies. However, CBD edibles are widely available within the state.
Can I purchase CBD in Maryland?
Yes, you can buy CBD in Maryland. Hemp-based CBD is available in several forms that include oil, extracts, capsules, lotions and edibles. CBD products can be found in a number of retail venues such as specialty CBD stores, pharmacies, boutiques, convenience stores and more. Hemp based CBD products in Maryland must contain less than .3% THC.
Additionally, marijuana-based CBD products can be purchased in dispensaries by those who hold medical marijuana cards. There are just under 100 dispensaries within the state.
It is also legal to buy CBD online and have it shipped to you in Maryland. Many people choose to buy online to get access to a wider array of products. You may be able to find lower prices when buying online, and may also find more information about testing of CBD products for strength and purity.