Cannabis is Legal in Maryland Starting July

Legal stock photo

On July 1, 2023, adults in Maryland will be able to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to two plants. This change comes as a result of the passage of Question 4, a ballot measure approved by 67.2% of Maryland voters on November 8, 2022. Following the vote, the Maryland General Assembly passed twin bills (HB 556/ SB 516) during the 2023 legislative session, which implemented an adult-use cannabis market in the state. These laws were signed into effect by Governor Wes Moore on May 4, 2023. Starting from July 1, existing medical dispensaries will be able to serve adult-use consumers.

In addition to the main implementation bill, the Maryland legislature also passed HB 1071, which determined that the odor of cannabis alone is not grounds for a search and reduced the penalty for public smoking from a $250 fine to a $50 fine for a first offense. This bill will also go into effect on July 1, 2023.

What Should Employers Do? 

As of now, there hasn’t been any change to Maryland’s recreational cannabis law that would impact the workplace/employers. As passed, the law doesn’t mention cannabis in the workplace in any context. According to the Maryland Cannabis Administration website:

“The legislation does not address cannabis use or impairment in the workplace. Individuals remain subject to any existing laws and workplace policies on substance or cannabis use (e.g., federal laws prohibiting the operation of commercial transport vehicles while impaired, or workplace policies prohibiting cannabis use specifically and/or impairment generally). The legislation does not address the use of employer drug screening of employees or prospective employees. Your employer or prospective employer can provide more specific information about its policies regarding substance use in the workplace.”

Federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, and employers should be aware when making decisions about their workplace policies. Employers should immediately review their policies to ensure that they are up to date and keep the following in consideration to ensure a safe workplace:

What Can DISA Do?  

DISA Global Solutions is ready to assist you in ensuring that your company's drug testing policy aligns with the specific compliance standards of your industry and business. We offer tailored policies for all DOT modes, states, territories, and laws. In order to educate your employees on safety standards and best practices, DISA provides training that is available both online and in-person, covering a wide range of subjects. Our experts also offer audit support, preparing you for any potential audits and assisting in maintaining compliance.

Related Articles:  

Are you an employer and still have questions regarding employment screening?  

DISA can help! Get answers directly from DISA’s subject matter experts with ‘Ask DISA.’

Visit to ask your questions today.

About DISA Global Solutions   

Founded in 1986, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.