Is CBD Oil in Maryland Legal - 2019 Complete Guide
Maryland CBD Laws 
Is CBD oil legal in Maryland? In one sense, that question is easy to answer with an emphatic, “yes!” In another sense, however, that’s a gratuitous oversimplification of the question. The real answer as to whether or not CBD oil is legal in Maryland is a little more complicated than that. First, it depends on your definition of CBD oil, where it comes from, and how it’s made. Second, it depends on your age. Third, it depends on your medical status. And, finally, it also depends on whether and when the state legalizes marijuana altogether. That alternate reality actually seems inevitable at this point.
In order to arrive at the more complex but more accurate answer, we’ve got some baggage to unpack. We need to understand that there are different kinds of CBD oil which fall under different sets of laws and that these distinct variants have different sets of medicinal benefits. So let’s jump right into it.
Maryland CBD Laws
Hemp CBD Oil vs. Marijuana-Derived Cannabis Oil
What Conditions Does CBD Help
Where to Buy CBD In MD
Hemp CBD Oil vs. Marijuana-Derived Cannabis Oil
The distinction we mentioned earlier between different types of CBD oil and their legal status comes down to one factor. That is the levels of cannabinoids present in the product. The two cannabinoids that we speak of specifically are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD. THC is the compound produced in marijuana that causes users to feel intoxicated and euphoric, and it’s also the compound to blame for all the fuss and controversy surrounding marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, although it provide substantial medicinal benefits, does not get you high.
Simply, if the levels of THC produced in the plant are above 0.3% by dry weight, then the plant is legally referred to as marijuana. And if the THC level falls below that level, the crop is legally referred to as hemp. But both hemp and marijuana are technically the same plant — Cannabis sativa.
For all intents and purposes, the term “CBD oil” is generally used to refer to products made with the extracts of hemp, while the THC-containing extracts of marijuana are referred to as “cannabis oil” regardless of how little or how much CBD is actually in them. Some cannabis oils are high in TCH, some are low in THC and high in CBD, and some have a balance of both THC and CBD. Hemp CBD oil, just to reiterate, has negligible levels of THC — levels low enough that it would take the consumption of impossibly massive quantities of the stuff to cause a buzz.
So the point of all of this is that while hemp, as of late, falls under the auspices of state and federal departments of agriculture, marijuana is a much more complex matter.
For some eight decades now, until just recently, all forms of cannabis, including both marijuana and hemp, have been federally illegal. Over the past 20 years or so, individual states have been thumbing their noses at the federal government and legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use beginning with California’s medical marijuana program launched back in 1994. Today something like 40 states allow medical marijuana in one form or another and ten states have full recreational marijuana programs. And that number is expected to get much higher, if you’ll excuse the pun.
After 80 years with its collective head up its proverbial hiney, the federal government has finally started to come around and get real about cannabis — beginning with hemp. The first shoe fell in 2014 during the Obama administration when congress passed a limited hemp pilot program law which allowed some states to implement experimental hemp cultivation programs. The second shoe fell at the end of 2018 when hemp was legalized altogether at the federal level — albeit with restrictions. Along with hemp, CBD oil also became federally legal.
Although there are still quite a few “Reefer Madness” zombies running around in Washington, the future looks bright for the loosening of the federal government’s grip on marijuana with a potential transfer or regulatory power to individual states — the very states that are already doing whatever they want with marijuana anyway.
On a side note, here, there is some confusion over whether or not it’s legal for CBD product makers to add CBD to foods. The funny thing is that even in some states where lawmakers have defied federal rules to legalize marijuana, there’s still a lot of places where local officials are clamping down on hemp-derived CBD oil saying the adding of CBD to edibles is federally prohibited by the FDA. Fortunately… Maryland isn’t one of them.
Hemp CBD Oil Is Completely Legal in Maryland
Starting with the good news, the CBD-rich extracts of the hemp plant are completely legal in the state of Maryland. Tons of shops in the state carry the stuff, especially in the larger cities such as Baltimore, Annapolis, Frederick, Gaithersburg, and Rockville. Furthermore, CBD products of all ilk can also be purchased online.
As we mentioned, according to the FDA, the selling of CBD edibles is a no-no. Regardless of the fact that it might not be kosher for CBD companies to be making edibles, there is no law against you possessing them in the state of Maryland.
So, you can buy and use hemp-derived CBD oil to your heart’s content in Maryland. The only thing you’ll be missing out on is a little THC. But depending on your state of health it might make enough of a difference to look into jumping on board the state’s medical marijuana program.
CBD Oil May Be Legal, But What Is It Good For?
Some of the medical conditions which are commonly treated with CBD oil include the following:
- Autoimmune Conditions
- Chronic Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Insomnia – Sleep Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
Additionally, scientific studies strongly suggest that CBD oil provides the following benefits:
Medical Marijuana Is Legal In Maryland
The possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in the state of Maryland since 2014 — if you qualify. State certified medical marijuana docs can provide a written certification for anyone they deem can benefit from using cannabis. In order to qualify for a medical marijuana card and get yourself some THC, you’ll have to jump through some hoops, pay some fees, register with the state, buy only from licensed dispensaries, and limit your purchases to avoid legal hassles.
In order to qualify for legal protections and get a recommendation from a medical marijuana doctor, you must be legitimately diagnosed with a severe, debilitating, and or life-threatening health disorder. In many states, lawmakers have taken it upon themselves to determine which medical conditions can benefit from treatment with marijuana. Fortunately for Marylanders, lawmakers have left this choice up to doctors. However, the law does specifically mention some conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms. So far, more than 500 medical health professionals have been certified by the state to make that call.
So once you’re approved for medical marijuana, where do you get the stuff? More than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries have been licensed to operate in the state, but not all are up and running as of the time of writing. A maximum of two dispensaries are allowed per district.
Many of you are probably thinking to yourself that you don’t really need a medical marijuana card and don’t have to buy weed at a licensed dispensary. You can just get it from your local dealer like you always have, right?
First of all, we doubt your local dealer carries a large selection of high CBD cannabis oils if any at all. Second, because recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Maryland, there are some penalties — both federal and state — if you get caught going the black market route. That being said, penalties for possession are relatively light in Maryland. Possession of under 10 grams of marijuana might result in a fine of up to $100 upon first offense. But anything over 10 grams and up to 50 pounds could bring up to a year in prison and/or up to $1,000 fine. And be careful. Ten grams ain’t much. It’s not even half an ounce.
Do You Really Need The THC?
So CBD oil = easy. And cannabis oil with THC = not so easy, and illegal if you’re not a medical patient. The question becomes, aside from using it just for kicks, do you really need the THC? Does the addition of THC to the formula actually make the oils perform better in medical applications? That depends.
There are some conditions where no THC or very low levels of THC are beneficial. For instance, one of the most common reasons that people give for using CBD oil is to reduce stress and anxiety. Interestingly, above certain levels — and this is different for everyone — THC actually increases anxiety and can even result in extreme paranoia. However, below that level, a little bit of a happy buzz does help some people relax and take the edge off their day. Regardless, if you don’t have a doctor that’s willing to recommend marijuana for taking the edge off your day, and you don’t have a condition such as GAD, PTSD, SAD, OCD, and so on and so forth you might do quite well with the legal, THC-free hemp CBD oils.
When it comes to neurological issues such as seizures and muscle spasms, most experts and patients will tell you that oils with some THC will provide better results. However, there are plenty of patients that do really well without the THC. As a matter of fact, last year the FDA approved a drug called Epidiolex for treating seizures which is essentially pure CBD with zero THC. In order for this to happen, the drug had to go through multiple clinical trials to prove that it works and is safe. It does, and it is.
Because cannabinoids affect different people in different ways, the same principle holds true for pretty much all medical conditions. Some people will find that a little THC goes a long way toward relieving their symptoms, others claim they do just fine without it. If you’re condition is such that you believe you can get a medical recommendation for cannabis oil then you might give it a try. If you’re just taking CBD oil for general health and wellbeing, then you’re probably better off staying away from the THC.
Aside from the issue of possession laws, there are other reasons to avoid cannabis oils with THC. For example, maybe you absolutely don’t want your consciousness altered. Also, using products containing THC can result in failing a drug test or even a roadside sobriety test which can cost you a job, or your driver’s license and turn into a very expensive proposition.
Will Maryland Legalize Marijuana in 2019?
There is actually a decent chance that marijuana will be legalized in Maryland, if not in 2019, then almost certainly before the end of 2020.
In early February of 2019, Maryland lawmakers introduced dueling bills to legalize weed. Both bills would make bud and cannabis oil legal for adults 21 and older.
One Olivia Naugle says, “One way or another, cannabis is going to become legal for adults in Maryland.” And she should know. She’s the legislative coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project.
Frankly, it’s what the people want. A poll conducted in September of 2018 found 62 percent of Maryland voters support legalization. That number is up 4% from the year before and 8% from the year before that. Momentum is definitely building and the votes are there.
Where To Buy CBD Oil In Maryland
To put a wrap on this, let’s talk about where you can get your hands on some CBD oil of your own.
First, if you’re okay with the hemp CBD you can order hemp CBD oil online and have it shipped right to your home. You’ll also find a huge variety of CBD edibles, vape oils, topicals, and so on on the interwebs. Keep in mind that, even though it’s not against the law, most online stores, and even some local brick and mortar stores will not sell hemp CBD to you if you’re under 18 years of age. Sorry.
Although you can’t just walk into CVS or Walmart and buy CBD oil yet, CBD products made from hemp can be found at your local head shop or vape shop and at some health food stores. [UPDATE: On March 21, 2019, CVS announced plans to sell CBD in 800 stores in states where it is legal.] Shops are also popping across the state that specialize in CBD products. Baltimore, in particular is full of them.
If you’re 18 or over, and you’ve received the blessing of a state-certified medical marijuana doc, then you can buy both hemp CBD oil and cannabis oil at your local Maryland medical marijuana dispensary.
Technically, edibles are not allowed under the state’s medical marijuana regulations, so you won’t find any pot brownies or gummies at your local dispensary, however, it you’re not into smoking bud you’ve still got options such as tinctures, vapes, capsules, tablets, powders, beverages, topicals and so on.
Where to Buy CBD Online
Another way to get your hands on some hemp-derived CBD products is to purchase them online. It’s fast. It’s easy. And you can have them delivered right to your doorstep, saving yourself a trip.
And for those with furry friends, many local and online shops are now selling CBD oil products formulated especially for dogs and cats and other pets.
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