In the past 10 years, 21 states (including Washington DC and Guam) have enacted recreational marijuana laws. After almost a century of prohibition, legal weed is definitely something to celebrate! Of the five states with initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana in 2022, only two states made the legal cannabis cut: Maryland and Missouri.
That’s right. Under Maryland Question 4 and Missouri Amendment 3, recreational marijuana in these states is now legal. What exactly are recreational weed laws in these states? What is Missouri Amendment 3? And what about Maryland Question 4?
At Elevate, we’ve worked with several residents in both states and truly want your Maryland and Missouri marijuana experience to be the best it possibly can be. Which honestly means you might want to consider having a medical marijuana card in Maryland or Missouri even though recreational weed is now legal.
Here we’ll take a deeper look at Missouri and Maryland recreational cannabis laws, to gain a better understanding of why having an MMJ card is an advantage even with Missouri Amendment 3 and Maryland Question 4.
Recreational Marijuana in Maryland and Missouri
Maryland recreational marijuana laws passed by a landslide, with an overwhelming 67.2% of voters in the Old Line State in support of Maryland Question 4.
Missouri recreational marijuana laws passed by a bit of a smaller margin, with 53% of the voters in the Show Me State in favor of Amendment 3.
Let’s take look at new weed laws in both of these states explore the reasons why keeping your Missouri or Maryland MMJ card (or becoming an MMJ patient) is absolutely the best way to go even when recreational weed is legal.
What is Missouri Amendment 3?
Missouri Amendment 3 passed with 53% of the votes on November 8, 2022. Recreational weed laws in the Show Me State are scheduled to go into effect on December 8, 2022, and recreational dispensaries could open their doors to the public as soon as February 2023. That said, it could be longer before MO residents can purchase recreational weed products.
Here’s what recreational marijuana laws entail under MO Amendment 3:
- Adults 21 years of age and older can legally purchase and consume marijuana.
- Missouri Amendment 3 allows adults 21 and over to purchase and posses up to 3 ounces of recreational marijuana products.
- Individuals with a cultivation registration card will be permitted to grow up to six flowering marijuana plants, six nonflowering plants, and six clones.
Following are a few reasons why we believe it’s best to have a medical card in Missouri even though recreational weed is legal:
- Lower Prices on Marijuana Products
State tax on recreational weed in Missouri will be 6%, with the option for local governments to add 3% tax on top of this. State tax on medical marijuana will remain 4%, which the state may soon reduce.
- Increased Possession & Purchase Limits
Medical marijuana patients are allowed higher purchase and possession limits. When recreational laws in MO go into effect, medical marijuana purchase and possession limits will increase from 4 to 6 ounces every 30 days. Recreational consumers are only allowed to purchase and possess 3 ounces.
- Increased Legal Protection For Employees
Missouri Amendment 3 also strengthened legal protection for employees with medical marijuana cards, prohibiting employer discrimination against MMJ patients or caregivers and positive drug tests for marijuana metabolites (as long as they weren’t under the influence on the job).
While the passing of Legal MO Amendment 3 is absolutely amazing, medical patients in Missouri have a clear advantage over recreational consumers.
Now that we’ve talked about Missouri Amendment 3, let’s take a closer look into Maryland Question 4.
What Is Maryland Question 4?
Maryland recreational marijuana laws will officially go into effect on July 1, 2023. Under these new recreational marijuana laws in Maryland, adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of marijuana and/or 12 grams of concentrates and grow 2 plants at home.
Under new recreational laws, possessing anything over 1.5 ounces up to 2.5 ounces will be subject to municipal fines, while possession of anything greater than 2.5 ounce will be subject to current Maryland cannabis laws and penalties.
Medical marijuana purchase and possession laws in Maryland are much different. In Medical marijuana patients in MD can currently purchase and possess up to 120 grams (4.25 ounces) in a 30-day rolling period. Increased possession limits aren’t the only good thing about having a medical card in Maryland even with weed being legal.
Following are a few reasons why medical marijuana is still better than recreational marijuana in Maryland:
- Increased Access to Legal Weed
Although Maryland recreational marijuana laws have been passed, residents of the Old Line State won’t be able to walk into a recreational dispensary anytime soon.
Like with Missouri Amendment 3, rec weed rules in MD must still be established on things like taxation, dispensaries, sales regulation, and more.
Recreational sales aren’t expected to start until after July 2023, meaning medical marijuana patients in Maryland are the only residents that have access to legal weed until then.
- Lower Prices on Marijuana Products
Because rules regarding sales and taxes on recreational marijuana in Maryland, it’s unclear just how much weed will cost the average consumer. In other states, recreational weed taxes vary.
In Colorado and California recreational marijuana tax is 15%. Arizona adult-use cannabis consumers pay 16% sales tax on their rec weed, while Oregon residents pay 17%. Residents in Washington State pay a whopping 37% sales tax on recreational weed. Hands down, this is the highest in the nation.
While rec weed taxes in Maryland are still not known, medical marijuana patients in the state don’t pay taxes on weed. That’s right. MO residents pay zero taxes on Maryland medical marijuana.
- Increased Legal Protection
Because it is expected to be several months before residents can access recreational marijuana in Maryland, having an MMJ card is the only way to ensure you’re legally protected when in the possession of weed.
While weed has been decriminalized until recreational laws go into effect, until then there’s still a risk of legal infraction when in possession of cannabis without a medical marijuana card.
From increased legal protection and possession limits to lower prices on marijuana products, it’s easy to see why having a medical card in Maryland is a way better option than recreational marijuana alone.
Elevate Holistics: Helping Secure Your Medical Card Status After Legalization
Our mission is to see patients in medical marijuana states make the most out of their experience. We believe everyone should be able to freely access cannabis physicians and have the freedom to give their body the natural medicine it deserves.
At Elevate, we want help you make the most out of Maryland Question 4 2022 and Missouri Amendment 3 2022. Now that recreational weed is legal in Missouri and Maryland, there’s really never been a better time to secure your medical marijuana card status.
Having a medical card in states with recreational cannabis laws really does make legal weed that much better. We’d love to show you how. Contact us today to see how we can help make the process of attaining or renewing your medical marijuana card effortless.