Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) on Wednesday signed the bill to legalize cannabis in the state, Maryland Matters reports. After signing the legislation Moore said it will “ensure that the rollout of recreational cannabis in our state drives opportunity in an equitable way.”
“The criminalization of marijuana harmed low-income communities and communities of color in a profound way. We want to make sure that the legalization of marijuana lifts those communities now in a profound way.” — Moore via Maryland Matters
Will Tilburg, acting director of the newly created Maryland Cannabis Administration, said the agency is “working quickly to implement the legislation and develop Maryland as a model for equity and safety in cannabis regulation.”
Moore’s final approval of the legislation came two days after his administration announced that the governor had created a blind trust for his assets, which included about $1.2 million in stock for Chicago, Illinois-based cannabis company Green Thumb Industries.
Don Murphy, a former Republican lawmaker from Baltimore County who now serves as the director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said he would have preferred a bill with “no limits” on the number of cannabis licenses allowed in the state.
“Let the market decide,” he told Maryland Matters. “If you want equity applicants to benefit, they have to get in the game. When you limit the number of people who can get in the game, they’re just always going to be underrepresented.”
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