Adult-Use Marijuana Sales Are On Track To Begin July 1
Maryland lawmakers expedited getting marijuana regulatory legislation in place before the state’s voter-approved adult-use legalization law takes effect July 1. Now the plan will go before Democratic Gov. Wes Moore, who has indicated he will sign it into law.
Under the new rules, people who are 21 and older will be able to buy recreational cannabis in Maryland July 1.
The bill also addresses commerce-related issues such as the number and types of cannabis business licenses available, reports CBS Baltimore.
It sets the amount of sales tax those businesses must charge at 9 percent, the The Baltimore Banner reports. Medical Cannabis will be exempt from sales tax.
The legislation comes after voters passed a ballot referendum that legalized cannabis in Maryland’s constitution in November.
Maryland Has About 100 Medical Dispensaries
The bill establishes a state agency, the Maryland Cannabis Administration, to oversee regulations for both medical and recreational products. The previous oversight agency, including its executive director, Will Tilburg, will meld into the new agency.
Maryland has about 100 medical cannabis dispensaries throughout the state. They must convert their licenses before they can sell to recreational adult consumers. However, the law will require dispensaries to keep ample supply on hand for medical marijuana patients. Shops must also offer either dedicated hours or express lanes to ease patients’ shopping experience.
To convert their licenses, medical dispensaries will owe the state 8% of 2022 gross revenues. The minimum fee will be $100,000 and the maximum fee is $2 million. Medical growers and processors will pay the one-time conversion fee of 10% of their 2022 gross revenues with those same upper and lower limits. They have 18 months to pay off the fee.
The bill also dictates where new dispensaries can set up. Shops must be at least 500 feet from a primary or secondary school, playground, library or public park, and 1,000 feet from other dispensaries.