About eight months after Maryland voters passed the state’s cannabis legalization initiative, adult-use sales launched in the state on Saturday, July 1.
According to a Forbes report, the flip from medical to adult-use sales has increased the number of consumers available to the Maryland cannabis industry from about 168,000 patients to more than 4 million eligible consumers. The launch was marked by lines of eager customers stretching out the door at some retailers.
In a statement released over the weekend, Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown called the launch “a significant step forward in rectifying past injustices.”
“Marylanders overwhelmingly support this initiative, and it’s my commitment to honor the will of the people. The cannabis industry that we stand up today must be rooted in fairness and equity. This means expunging the records of those targeted in the enforcement of cannabis laws, ensuring fair and equitable access to cannabis licensing and other business opportunities, and empowering disproportionately impacted communities through reinvestment.” — AG Brown, in a statement
The state’s legalization law was approved in November by a little more than 65% of voters. In April, state lawmakers established the regulatory framework for legal sales. Under those rules, cannabis products carry a 9% excise tax from the state; additionally, 35% of cannabis-related tax revenues will be earmarked for the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund — which will support local organizations serving communities that have been disproportionately affected by prohibition — and 5% of tax revenues will be given to county governments.
Maryland was the 20th U.S. state to legalize adult-use cannabis and under the state’s legalization law, adults can legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and home-grow two plants out of public view.
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