Is Cannabis Legal or Not? – A Four Part Series: Part Three – Medical Use & Limited Medical Use

There are 20 states in the United States that provide for the use of cannabis strictly for medical purposes. Each of these states has their own complex regulatory frameworks outlining how you can become a registered patient in the state, how much cannabis can be possessed or consumed and where a patient can purchase that product. For the vast majority of these purely medical-use states, of which Maryland is one, licenses have been issued to people to grow, process and sell the medical cannabis. Each state has its own list of conditions that trigger the ability to obtain cannabis and they also differ in the way the product can be sold and consumed. Some states, (NY, NJ and OH, among others) do not allow for the consumption or sale of flower (meaning you can’t smoke it). Other states, (ME, DC) allow you to grow a limited number of plants and produce your own medicine. Some states, like Maryland, have strict testing standards while others have virtually no regulatory oversight at all (AZ).

 

* Dark Green indicates adult use (note that Vermont was recently added but not shown on the map); Light Green is Medical Use; Grey is Limited Use; and black are the states with no cannabis laws of any sort. For an interactive version of this map with helpful information, visit NCIA here.

The distinguishing factor between Medical-Use states and Limited Medical Use states is often whether or not THC is allowed. In Medical Use states, all cannabinoids are allowed regardless of amount. In Limited Medical Use States, CBD (cannabidiol) a non-psychoreactive cannibinoid of the cannabis plant is allowed at high levels, but THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is either disallowed completely or only at very low levels. Fifteen states have limited medical use programs. These states also have very few conditions for which cannabis can be used, often only allowing its usage in severe cases of epilepsy.

Because we live, and are licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland, we will end our four part series by looking at what is allowed under Maryland Law. Keep your eyes out for the last post in this series.

by Leah M. Heise, Esq.

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