Maryland Lawmakers Discuss Marijuana Regulations At First Workgroup Hearing Since Legalization Measures Were Enacted

Maryland Lawmakers Discuss Marijuana Regulations At First Workgroup Hearing Since Legalization Measures Were Enacted
MJ moment

A Maryland legislature marijuana workgroup on Tuesday held its first hearing since a pair of bills were enacted to put cannabis legalization on the November ballot and implement certain initial rules if voters approve the reform. The Maryland House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup specifically discussed licensing and regulatory issues at the meeting, with members hearing expert testimony on the current marijuana policy landscape to help inform their approach in the future. Del. Luke Clippinger (D), who sponsored the now-enacted cannabis bills and leads the legislative workgroup formed by House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D), said that it was important for members to “prioritize equity in our efforts and ensure that we were recognizing and addressing the impact the war on cannabis has inflicted, particularly on brown and Black communities.”

Certain issues such as expungements for prior marijuana convictions were addressed in one of the lawmaker’s bills, which Gov. Larry Hogan (R) allowed to take effect without his signature in April. HB 1, the separate referendum measure, simply places legalization on the ballot and, because it is a constitutional amendment, it wasn’t subject to action by the governor. HB 837, meanwhile, sets basic rules for the adult-use program if voters approve the ballot referendum. Those provisions mostly concern issues such as penalties and expungement—leaving questions about how the legal cannabis market will be structured and regulated up to future decisions by lawmakers in the 2023 and 2024 sessions. “This work is important,” Clippinger said on Tuesday, highlighting the need to begin setting the stage for coming legislative actions. “And it’s important work that we have to start right now.” The Brookings Institution’s John Hudak led a presentation for members, outlining various regulatory models that other states have adopted and answers questions about issues such as tax policy, licensing application…

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Source : Maryland Lawmakers Discuss Marijuana Regulations At First Workgroup Hearing Since Legalization Measures Were Enacted

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