Maryland is gearing up for the official implementation of its marijuana legalization law, set to take effect this weekend. The new law will legalize the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use, marking a significant milestone for the state. As the majority of existing medical cannabis dispensaries prepare to open their doors to adult consumers, Governor Wes Moore is reaffirming his commitment to fostering an equitable and inclusive cannabis industry.

Expanding Dispensaries

Nearly 100 dispensaries in Maryland have received approval from state regulators to become dual licensees, allowing them to serve both medical patients and adults over the age of 21. Starting July 1st, these dispensaries will be authorized to sell cannabis to both groups, following the legalization measure approved by voters last year. This move reflects the state’s efforts to ensure that the industry infrastructure aligns with the legalization of simple possession and home cultivation.

Governor’s Equity Focus

During a recent Cannabis Regulators Association conference, Governor Moore emphasized the importance of equity in cannabis policy. He acknowledged the historical use of cannabis laws to oppress and discriminate against marginalized communities, particularly people of color. Governor Moore stated that the war on drugs not only failed but weakened the nation. Moving forward, he highlighted the need to focus on both equity and economic growth, rejecting the false choice between the two.

Industry Readiness

In addition to the dispensaries, the Maryland Cannabis Administration has approved 38 cultivators and manufacturers to supply the new adult-use market. Existing medical cannabis license holders and preapproved entities are required to convert their licenses to standard medical and adult-use licenses to operate from July 1st. The regulatory framework for cannabis sales was established through legislation signed by Governor Moore last month. The rule sets definitions, outlines possession limits, clarifies licensing protocols, and addresses enforcement authorities and penalties.

Grants for Transition

To support the transition of existing medical marijuana businesses into the adult-use market, the state’s Department of Commerce is offering grants. This initiative aims to facilitate a smooth conversion process and ensure a robust and diverse cannabis industry in Maryland.

Key Provisions of the Law

Under the new law, adults aged 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis. Furthermore, they can cultivate up to two plants for personal use and gift cannabis without receiving any remuneration. The law also includes provisions for the expungement of past convictions related to conduct made legal by the new law. People currently serving time for such offenses will be eligible for resentencing.

Conclusion

Maryland’s marijuana legalization law is set to bring significant changes to the state’s cannabis landscape. With the commencement of sales and the opening of dispensaries to adult consumers, Maryland is embracing a new chapter focused on equity and economic growth. Governor Moore’s commitment to prioritizing equity in the cannabis industry sets a positive precedent for other states considering similar legislation. As Maryland moves forward, it aims to build a thriving and inclusive cannabis market that benefits all its residents.

 

Source: MarijuanaMoment

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