Last year, Maryland voters approved a legalization referendum changing the state’s stance on cannabis consumption, possession, and growth of the plant in the state. With successful House Bill 837, cannabis was made a recreational substance and brought with it automatic expungement for all cases in which possession of cannabis was the only charge in the case. Since 2021, the Cannabis Referendum & Legalization Work Group has been working with Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC) in an effort to enact systems for Marylanders when recreational sales become legalized.
Last week, the work group met to discuss the next steps to take in order to facilitate a smooth transition from the state’s medical-use sales only to recreational adult-use as well. At the meeting, they discussed key topics like market demand for cannabis in the state and the taxation associated with sales. Also, CPPC presented data that projected the Maryland cannabis market to hit $1 billion in adult-use marijuana sales within 20 months.
The upcoming months will be monumental in deciding the framework for how cannabis and revenue streams will be utilized and governed by the state.
Considerations for legislators include:
- Recommendations that Maryland should have at least 300 dispensaries to meet the demand per capita
- Potential impacts on workplace safety
- Recommended tax rate of no more than 15% to 20%