The Weights and Measures program directly benefits all Marylanders by ensuring the fairness and equity of all commercial transactions involving determinations of quantity. This includes such day-to-day activities as:
- the sale of food that is weighed by a scale in a supermarket;
- the sale of gasoline through a gasoline pump; or,
- the sale of fuel oil through a truck mounted meter.
Maryland weights and measures officials inspect and regulate devices used in determining the quantity of commodities as diverse as fuel oil, food products, livestock, grain, and precious metals.
Electronic scanning devices at the check-out counters in retail stores are inspected periodically in order to audit and verify prices stored in the retailer's computer. This office also regulates firewood and coal sales, even the amount of crab sold at a seafood store.
In addition to inspecting measuring devices, Weights and Measures officials also:
- test the net contents of packaged goods that are labeled by weight, volume, or count;
- conduct undercover buying and selling to insure that the entire transaction is conducted in an honest manner; and,
- investigate consumer complaints.
In Fiscal Year 2012, the field staff conducted approximately 40,800 inspections of commercial weighing and measuring devices and inspected and tested more than 8,300 individual lots of prepackaged commodities offered for sale.
Weights & Measures History
June 1, 1951 MD weights & measures law went into effect.
Prior to this date, regulation was managed local government, City of Baltimore, and the State Department of Markets.