The language for a cannabis legalization referendum that will be on the November ballot was completed by Maryland election authorities in August and cannabis activists are rallying with a statewide campaign intending to urge voters to pass it. Maryland has been lagging behind on cannabis reform for a long time, but it is time for Maryland to catch up with its neighboring states.
A New Cannabis Campaign
On Thursday the MDCAN 22 “Vote Yes On 4” campaign, which is being led by retired NFL player Eugene Monroe, released a video ad about the reform proposal on a new website that they are promoting.
We think that Monroe, who has been involved in the industry for some time, will be a good steward in promoting legislation while being conscious of the challenges that individuals and small businesses face and including solutions into the proposal from the beginning.
The cannabis referendum’s language was just completed by Maryland’s elections authorities, as mentioned above, and was put on the ballot by a law passed by the legislature, which also passed a companion bill to establish rules for an adult-use market if voters support legalization.
Here is the final version of the cannabis reform measure for Maryland, also known as Question 4, that will be put to a vote: “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?”
According to a financial disclosure document submitted at the end of last month, the multi-state cannabis corporation Trulieve gave $50,000 to Vote Yes On 4 in July. Florida’s legalization of marijuana is scheduled to take effect in 2024 due to the $5 million seed investment from Trulieve.
However, it’s possible that Trulieve’s involvement will be more of a hurt than a help with the campaign, especially when it comes to educated cannabis consumers.
Why Vote Yes On Question 4?
Monroe stated in a press statement that legalizing cannabis will “boost Maryland’s economy and create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs, while allowing Maryland residents to benefit from crucial improvements in public safety, health, and education supported by cannabis taxes.”
The new campaign ad discusses the financial advantages of legalizing, including the reduction of criminal activity, the freeing up of police resources, and the promotion of equity through expungements and job opportunities in the new sector.
Monroe stated that passing Question 4 will “bring a stop to the failed criminalization of cannabis, create a well-regulated legal marijuana market oriented around equity, and open up new avenues for local entrepreneurs and small business owners.” Maryland has some of the highest numbers of people incarcerated on minor cannabis charges. Passing this cannabis reform measure would be a big step in rectifying that.
About The Measure
The distinct but related HB 837 would go into effect if a majority of voters approve the referendum – and polling suggests that this is likely.
If approved by voters, legislation would be passed making it legal for people to buy and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis. Additionally, the Act would eliminate the criminal penalty for having up to 2.5 ounces. Cannabis would be legal to grow up to two plants for personal use and to give away without payment to adults over the age of 21.
Throughout the legislative process, changes were made to the legalization law. As an illustration, provisions were included to establish a community reinvestment fund and permit state tax deductions for some cannabis-related costs that marijuana businesses are not permitted to deduct under the present federal tax code.
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