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November 2022: Maryland Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

17 Nov


Update Applicable to: 
All employers in the state of Maryland.

What happened?
On November 8, 2022, voters in the state of Maryland approved measures that legalize recreational marijuana for adults ages 21 and older.

What are the details? 
Effective July 1, 2023, recreational marijuana will be legalized recreationally. Employers may be restricted from discriminating against an individual based solely on a positive drug test or the individual’s status as an authorized medical marijuana user. 

Employers may still ban marijuana from their workplaces and prohibit employees from working under the influence of marijuana. However, depending on the applicable state law, employers may not be able to take adverse employment action against employees solely based on a positive drug test

Maryland Recreational Marijuana
The table below provides an overview of Maryland’s Question 4, approved by nearly 66% of the state’s voters on November 8, 2022. 

Maryland (Question 4)
SummaryImpact on EmployersImplementation
Allows individuals age 21 and older to: Possess, purchase, obtain, use, ingest, inhale and transport up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana (up to 12 grams of which may be in concentrate form); and cultivate up to two marijuana plants.Employment issues related to marijuana use are not addressed. However, an existing state drug testing law governs all employers who test their employees or job applicants for drugs or alcohol in the state.Effective July 1, 2023. A new marijuana law that decriminalized marijuana (HB 837) automatically went into effect upon Question 4’s approval.

All marijuana use is still illegal under federal law. 

For more information, please see the links below:

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and should become familiar with applicable new marijuana laws, and review their existing drug testing policies and procedures to ensure compliance. Employers may also want to review other applicable laws relating to workplace drug testing, discrimination, and similar employment issues.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Maryland PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.

This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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