Discover comprehensive insights into the Maryland cannabis expungement process through these detailed and informative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
How did Maryland handle expungements for cannabis?
Maryland law allows for automatic expungement of records related to civil offenses for possession of fewer than 10 grams of cannabis, three years post-conviction. However, individuals have the option to petition for expungement before the three-year mark.
Those found guilty of cannabis possession with intent to distribute can request expungement three years after completing their sentence, including any probation period.
New legislation effective from July 1, 2023, made it easier to expunge charges of simple possession of marijuana. The updated criminal justice codes pardon simple possession charges when it’s the sole charge on an individual’s record and provide pathways for expungement when the charge was one among others.
All felonies? Only non-violent?
In Maryland’s cannabis licensing framework, certain convictions can lead to applicants being ineligible for a license. If an individual has a felony drug offense conviction in the last seven years, they will not be granted a license. Additionally, the commission has the authority to deny a license to someone with a moral turpitude conviction.
Were there any crimes related to cannabis that disqualified someone from applying as a social equity applicant?
Maryland does not specify criteria for social equity applicants related to conviction, but rather, limits eligibility to residency, education, and income criteria.
Status of Current Social Equity Program:
The Office of Social Equity aims to foster full participation from communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs in the cannabis market7.
Eligibility criteria for cannabis licensing under social equity programs were released on September 1, 2023
- The Cannabis Reform Act establishes an initial business licensing round for eligible social equity applicants. A social equity applicant is an applicant with at least 65% ownership and control held by one or more individuals who meet the statutory definition of a social equity applicant. This definition includes living in, or attending a public school in a disproportionately impacted area. Disproportionately impacted areas in Maryland have been identified by the Office of Social Equity – and may be found on their website: ose.maryland.gov. The Office of Social Equity has additionally identified higher education institutions that would also grant eligibility to individuals.
How Can Point Seven Group Help?
The team of cannabis consultants and professionals at Point Seven Group have worked extensively in the U.S. and international cannabis markets and are familiar with the unique challenges of the cannabis industry. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with more cannabis industry updates!
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