Legislation Announced Creating Maryland’s New Legal, Adult-Use Cannabis Industry
Legislation that establishes Maryland’s new legal, adult-use cannabis industry has been announced by Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones. This program is aimed at curbing illicit sales, addressing equity in licensing, taxation and regulation – and meets the July 1, 2023 program implementation goal. Adult-use cannabis will be regulated in the same way as medical cannabis – to ensure product safety. Revenue from the cannabis tax will be reinvested to help address health, economic and racial disparities.
Additional information from the Maryland General Assembly:
Adult–use cannabis will be regulated in the same fashion as medical cannabis to ensure that the product is safe. It will be taxed at a rate starting at 6% and phase up to 10% over five years to curb illicit sales and fund state and local oversight of the program. Revenues from the low tax rate will be reinvested to help address health, economic, and racial disparities.
The bill ensures a more equitable licensing application process. It allows those who have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition an equal opportunity to compete for licenses by providing:
- Low application fees;
- Priority consideration in the licensing process;
- State provided technical services; and
- Targeted grants and loans to help jumpstart new businesses.
The legislation introduced allows license seekers to apply for combined medical and recreational adult-use licenses. The program will be administered by the Cannabis Division in coordination with the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission (ATCC) and in conjunction with the newly created Office of Social Equity.
Our current budget includes $46.5 million dollars to help implement the new cannabis industry with much of it targeted toward social equity and other cannabis-related issues. Significant funding will continue to be set aside to further support social equity in the cannabis industry.