Maryland’s new governor last week, on his first full day in office, released $46.5 million related to the state’s Cannabis Reform Act, which will support its forthcoming adult-use cannabis industry, Maryland Matters reports. The funding had been withheld by the previous administration.
Gov. Wes Moore (D) said releasing the funds marked “a fundamental shift on how the governor’s office is going to approach the budget and the office’s relationship with the General Assembly.” In all, Moore released $69 million in funds related to a variety of projects that had been withheld by former Gov. Larry Hogan (R).
Of the $46.5 million in cannabis funds, $40 million is earmarked for a Cannabis Business Assistance Fund in the Department of Commerce to support the rollout of the adult-use cannabis industry, $5 million is set for the Cannabis Public Health Fund in the Department of Health, which could be used to fund research on cannabis legalization or for substance abuse treatment, and $1.5 million is earmarked for the Criminal Justice Information System to comply with provisions of the act, including automatic expungement of prior simple possession cases.
Maryland’s adult-use cannabis industry could be worth $1 billion in about two years, according to Cannabis Public Policy Consulting data outlined by Maryland Matters. Adult-use cannabis sales in Maryland are expected to commence on July 1.
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