SILVER SPRING, MD — Starting Saturday, July 1, adults 21 and older in Maryland will be able to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries for recreational use.

On May 3, Gov. Wes Moore signed into law the Cannabis Reform Act, making Maryland the 25th state or U.S. territory to legalize adult-use cannabis. (See an explanation of the law and its penalties at the bottom of the story.)

“In the past, cannabis policy has been used as a cudgel to oppress, jail, and discriminate against our fellow citizens, especially people of color; and the war on drugs didn’t just fail, it made us weaker as a nation,” Moore said, in May. “But now, we are writing a new chapter in the story of cannabis in America—a chapter focused on equity and economic growth. It’s time we moved away from this false choice that says we must pick an economy that is equitable or an economy that is growing—we can, and we will, do both.”

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The new law also established the Office of Social Equity, aimed at promoting inclusion, accountability and fairness for businesses to participate in the adult-use cannabis market.

Some businesses in Maryland have already stepped up to take advantage of the new law and cannabis’ new status.

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One of those companies is Upling LLC, which was started by Colin Fraser, a tech entrepreneur from Silver Spring.

“We’re a small, minority business enterprise,” he said. “We’re the first and only cannabis delivery service that is an MBE, and we’re really proud of that.”

Fraser told Patch that Upling was started with the goal of serving the local cannabis market.

“We spend a lot of time educating patrons on this healing plant versus say, ‘Well, let me just get up quick smoke with my buddies and drop it off to my house,'” he said. “We really want to promote the health and wellness of people who needed it during the pandemic and post-pandemic as well too.”

The idea for creating the first-ever, Black-owned cannabis delivery app in the U.S. and the first Black-owned delivery service of any kind in Maryland actually came about during the pandemic.

“We had Amazon, Instacart, Uber Eats and DoorDash, you name it,” Fraser said. “The idea came up like, ‘I wonder if you could get cannabis delivered to you?’ We’re getting everything else delivered. Why not cannabis?”

After doing some research, Fraser and his partners discovered that Maryland had licensing available that would allow their company to deliver cannabis within the state.

With his background in coding, Fraser developed the platform for what would become the Upling app and his company secured the necessary funding to launch it to serve Maryland’s medical cannabis users.

“We wanted to help out people who were older, people who are in pain and actually want to use a different alternative way of medication, because we only served medical patients,” Fraser said.

Related: In Maryland, “Rolling” Out Recreational Cannabis

The way Upling works is that customers enter their ZIP code and the app gives them a list of dispensaries nearby that they can order from. The dispensary confirms that the customer is authorized to receive the medication. Then, Upling dispatches a driver to pick up and deliver the medication to the customer’s home. This ensures that the customer receives their medication without having to wait in a long line.

“We’re just giving people back time,” Fraser said. “I heard this compelling story just two weeks ago with a veteran. A woman did 17 years of service and now has a pinched nerve, anxiety and insomnia. She was like, ‘I get insomnia just going on the road and driving to the dispensary, and now imagine I could go into the app and have it delivered to my doorstep.'”

To date, Upling has been only serving medical-use customers but when the new law goes into effect on Saturday, Fraser expects his customer base to expand considerably.

“As of July 1, we’ll be able to have 1.3 million people that we could potentially have on our app,” he said, referencing the number of Maryland residents who voted for recreation cannabis use in a November 2022 referendum. “So, as soon as July 1 hits, we could start serving anybody over the age of 21.”

Other Maryland businesses that have catered to the medical-use population for years are anticipating an uptick in business from new adult-use customers.

On Saturday, RISE Dispensaries, a retail chain owned by Green Thumb Industries Inc., will be hosting ribbon-cutting ceremonies at its four Maryland locations.

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“It is truly an honor to celebrate this milestone alongside the people of Maryland and witness the end of Prohibition 2.0 as the 20th state in the country launches adult-use cannabis sales,” said Green Thumb Founder, Chairman and CEO Ben Kovler, in a release. “We believe cannabis promotes positivity, and we are proud to provide access to high-quality cannabis products like RYTHM and Dogwalkers to more people who say ‘yes’ to well-being.”

The Green Thumb ribbon-cuttings are planned for 7:15 a.m. and the doors are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Music and treats will be provided.

“As one of the first operators in the state, Green Thumb has been serving Maryland’s medical cannabis market since 2017,” Green Thumb President Anthony Georgiadis said, in a release. “Now, we are thrilled to open our doors to adult-use consumers for the first time while continuing to prioritize our amazing medical patients in the welcoming communities of Hagerstown, Joppa, Silver Spring and Bethesda. Our team has worked incredibly hard to prepare for this historic day.”

Each of RISE’s dispensaries will donate a portion of their proceeds from their first day of adult-use business to local nonprofits, including Mission of Love Charities, Explore MD Cannabis and I Support The Girls.

What To Know About Maryland’s Cannabis Law

The People’s Law Library of Maryland. summarized the new rules in the state.


People 21 years and older can possess the following amounts starting July 1:


For those looking to grow their own, Maryland law said adults will be allowed to grow up to two plants that are out of public view and secured so they are not accessible by unauthorized individuals or those under the age of 21.


Adults can also now share cannabis with friends, as long as it is not transactional, Maryland law said.

“The amount of cannabis shared must not exceed the amount defined as personal use and no money can be exchanged for the cannabis,” Maryland law said. “Transfer of amounts in excess of the Personal Use amount or accepting payment for transferred amounts may qualify as possession with the intent to distribute.”


Although you can possess, grow and share certain amounts of cannabis, Maryland law says you cannot sell it without the proper licensing.
According to Maryland law, selling without a license is classified as a criminal misdemeanor and punishable by up to three years in prison.


Maryland’s new law has also prohibited specific locations from smoking cannabis, and public places is one of them.

Smoking cannabis in a public place is considered a civil offense and could be penalized by up to a $50 fine for a first offense, Maryland law said. Drivers smoking in a vehicle is also prohibited.


For those looking to get a previous marijuana possession charge expunged, you are in luck.
Although the expungement can happen, Maryland law says it is not automatic.

“The new law allows individuals convicted of marijuana possession to request an expungement after the successful completion of the sentence,” Maryland law said.

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