Maryland Lawmakers Approve Millions In Funding To Implement Marijuana Legalization If Reform Is Enacted

Maryland Lawmakers Approve Millions In Funding To Implement Marijuana Legalization If Reform Is Enacted
MJ moment

A key Maryland House committee advanced a Senate-approved budget bill last week, adding new amendments that would allocate tens of millions of dollars in funding to implement marijuana legalization with the expectation that the reform will ultimately be enacted this year. The House Appropriations Committee cleared the amended legislation on Friday. It would provide about $52 million to support the implementation of cannabis legalization, facilitate expungements for prior cannabis convictions and fund a “disparity study” to “better understand the barriers to entering the cannabis market.” This comes one month after the full House of Delegates separately passed bills to put marijuana legalization on the state’s 2022 ballot and set initial rules if voters approve the reform in November. All of the funding that the Appropriations Committee proposed setting aside for cannabis reform implementation is contingent on the enactment of the latter bill, HB 837. Del. Luke Clippinger (D) is sponsoring both measures and said last month that lawmakers are “at the beginning of an important process.” His bills are scheduled for a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday. Here’s a breakdown of the proposed cannabis funding as approved on Friday, which to be enacted would need to be adopted by the full House of Delegates and then agreed to in conference with the Senate, which did not include marijuana funding in the budget proposal it passed: $40,000,000 to program T00F00.04 Office of Business Development for the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund, contingent on the enactment of HB 837 establishing the fund and the ratification of a constitutional amendment authorizing adult use and possession of cannabis. $5,000,000 to program M00F03.04 Family Health and Chronic Disease Services for the Cannabis Public Health Fund, contingent on the enactment of HB 837 establishing the fund and the ratification of a constitutional amendment authorizing adult use…

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Source : Maryland Lawmakers Approve Millions In Funding To Implement Marijuana Legalization If Reform Is Enacted

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