Maryland’s House last week passed a bill to create a framework for the state’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis market, The Diamondback reports. The bill comes after voters approved a ballot measure to legalize cannabis for adult-use last November.
The bill passed by the House includes social equity provisions and an office to encourage communities most affected by the criminalization on cannabis to participate in the industry. The measure also establishes a Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund to fund community-based initiatives intended to benefit low-income groups. The legislation would also establish a licensing system and regulatory agencies.
During debate on the measure, Del. C.T. Wilson (D), one of the bill’s lead sponsors and the chair of the Economic Matters Committee, said it is the dusty of lawmakers “to ensure that Marylanders can receive the benefit of ownership in this industry.”
“…That citizens can have access to safe and effective cannabis without fear of adverse health effects, or violence. That small businesses in Maryland can flourish in this industry. That communities that were ravaged by the War on Drugs are in some small part to finally benefit from marijuana.” — Wilson via The Diamondback
The proposal outlines a Cannabis Public Health Fund which is intended to address the possible health effects associated with cannabis legalization. The fund would be partially comprised from tax revenues from cannabis sales and would be used for data collection and education and training for law enforcement on how to recognize when someone is impaired by cannabis.
The measure passed the House 103-32 and moves next to the Senate.
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