Cannabis Lawyer Justin Tepe Quoted in on Maryland Adult-Use Legalization

By: GDLD | 9.20.22 | Media

Justin Tepe - Blog HeadshotJustin Tepe, a Maryland cannabis lawyer and co-founder of the Cannabis Law practice at Goodell DeVries, spoke with about Question 4, a Maryland referendum on whether the state should legalize adult-use recreational cannabis. The interview was published as a Q&A in's "Higher Law" column. Read it here (subscription required).

Justin discussed the status of marijuana legality in Maryland, how the status would change if Question 4 is approved, and what the legal landscape would look like for both licensed cannabis growers and consumers. 

Here's an excerpt:

Will we see Maryland's Legislature act quickly on [legalization]?

This is something we've seen in other states, either for short time periods or in some situations longer, like in the District of Columbia. You've got a pretty substantial gray or illicit market because you've got a program there where it's legal to possess, it's legal to gift, but you can't sell it unless you have a license on the medical side. So you have six dispensaries in the District that are licensed and consult with patients, but then you also see these gray market dispensaries where you'll buy a t-shirt for, let's say $70, and then you're gifted cannabis. It's not the legal way to operate. But it's why it's kind of called the gray market.

So you'll have this time period where individual Marylanders can possess it and they can grow plants at home. But you have that window where a lot of states, unfortunately, see a spike in the illicit market.

I've heard from the Maryland legislators that they're very cognizant and interested in passing legislation so that we don't have this prolonged period where the illicit market can thrive and get a foothold. The quickest way to get to legal adult use, a lot of states will fast-track the medical licensees to be authorized to sell adult use. And there were proposed bills in Maryland that would do that that didn't end up going through last session. But I would hope to see that because I think it's great for the current licensees and is also a way to get to that legally regulated market the quickest.

Justin is an associate at Goodell DeVries. He represents licensed entities and ancillary businesses in the cannabis industry in Maryland and surrounding areas. He can be reached at