Maryland Lawmakers Pass Recreational Marijuana Sales Bill

Maryland Lawmakers Pass Recreational Marijuana Sales Bill

Lawmakers in Maryland passed a bill over the weekend to regulate commercial cannabis production and sales after months of negotiations on issues such as social equity and taxation. A bill that would set the stage for regulated recreational marijuana sales to begin on July 1 is now facing the desk of Democratic Gov. Wes Moore.

Maryland Senate Passes invoice Fixed by a 30-12 vote on Friday. The House, which first approved the bill on March 10, on Saturday he passed a revised version of the bill by a vote of 104 to 35, sending the bill to Moore for consideration. The governor, who backed efforts to legalize marijuana for adults in Maryland, plans to sign the bill, according to a state government report. washington post.

After passage of the bill, lawmakers will draw on Maryland’s experience in legalizing the medical use of marijuana and regulatory efforts in other states to draft laws to legalize the production and sale of recreational marijuana. said he did.

“We’ve been talking to our counterparts in other states, ‘If you had to do it all over again, how would you do it differently?’ do you think it was good? said at a press conference“Here in Maryland, we have great expertise in medical cannabis programs that have been very successful.

In November, voters in Maryland passed Question 4, a state referendum approved by nearly two-thirds of the vote, legalizing recreational marijuana. The bill passed by Congress on Saturday sets the stage for legalization starting July 1 that will allow adults over the age of 21 to own up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to two cannabis plants at home. increase.

Under the law, a new regulatory and enforcement division will be created within the state’s existing Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and renamed the Alcohol, Tobacco and Cannabis Commission. The law includes provisions that guide the regulation of cannabis production and sales, and sets a 9% tax on recreational marijuana purchases.

Lawmakers block new amendments that further restrict pharmacies

Before the bill passed the House, Republican Rep. Wayne A. Hartman proposed an amendment to increase the mandatory minimum distance separating cannabis dispensaries from 500 feet to 1 mile. The proposal also required that the pharmacy be at least one mile away from schools, parks, playgrounds, and libraries.

“So you couldn’t put a clinic anywhere in Ocean City? Isn’t there anywhere that’s a mile between these things?” C.T. Wilson, chairman of House Economic Affairs said:

“I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it is,” Hartman replied.

But Wilson said residents of the Hartman area may have different feelings, with voters approving a referendum to legalize adult-use marijuana in Maryland with more than two-thirds of statewide votes. pointed out that

“They asked us to do this,” he said. “They asked us to do this in a fair and equitable way. asked us.”

social equity priorities

To promote fairness in the cannabis industry and ownership by those adversely affected by marijuana prohibition, the first licenses awarded in Maryland will be reserved for social equity applicants. To be eligible, the applicant must have at least 65 individuals who have lived in a “disproportionately affected area” for five years out of the last ten years or have attended public school in such an area. Must have % ownership. The bill also creates a new Social Justice Office in the cannabis sector and facilitates the participation of “people from communities previously unfairly affected by the war on drugs.” Wilson said at a committee hearing on the bill last month.

Brian Vicente, founding partner of cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente LLP, applauded Maryland’s legislative approval of the cannabis commerce legalization bill.

“Maryland continues its legalization drive by sending regulatory bills to the governor’s desk for the House and Senate to establish a strong adult licensing structure,” Vicente said in an email. I write like high times“This law will increase the number of cannabis businesses and the first round of new business owners will be social equity applicants. It should come as no surprise that Congress is moving quickly to implement the will of voters, and is well on its way to launching adult sales by July 1.”

Alexandra Solorio
Introducing Alexandra, an accomplished cannabis writer who has passionately pursued her craft for a decade. Through a decade-long journey, Alexandra has cultivated a profound connection with the cannabis world, translating her expertise into captivating prose. From unraveling the plant's rich history to exploring its therapeutic marvels and legal evolution, she has adeptly catered to both connoisseurs and newcomers. An unwavering advocate, Alexandra's words not only enlighten but also advocate responsible cannabis use, establishing her as an indispensable industry voice over the past ten years.

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