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Maryland Governor Earmarks Almost $50 Million to Setup Adult-Use Cannabis

After only being in office for 24 hours, Maryland governor Wes Moore has already signed a directive towards the state’s legalization of the adult-use market to the tune of $46.5 million. Here’s what we know:

Maryland Is Going All In!

As the State of Maryland was voting to legalize adult-use cannabis, they were also busy voting for the state’s first-ever African American governor, Wes Moore. And not even 24 hours after Gov. Moore was elected, he opted for a massive spending directive going toward causes related to the Cannabis Reform Act. 

How big, you ask? $46.5 million to be exact. This amount comes from a nearly $70 million that had been held in reserve by Moore’s predecessor, Rep. Larry Hogan.

That being said, this kind of massive budget allocation is a huge, beaming green light for the cannabis community, and it will serve as an excellent example for those lagging states.

Legal sales of cannabis to persons over the age of 21 will begin on July 1 of this year. During this year’s legislative assembly, lawmakers and the Maryland General Assembly will consider frameworks and regulations for the adult-use market. During this time, we’ll also see a date being announced for adult-use sales to begin in Maryland.

Persons over the age of 21 will be able to grow up to two plants at home as long as they’re outside of public view. Households are limited to two plants per home, regardless of how many residents live there. People under 21 won’t be allowed to buy cannabis from dispensaries or grow their own cannabis plants at home. And we may see additional laws being adopted for home growing when it comes to medical cannabis patients.

Maryland Is Going All In!

Where’s The Money Going?

Out of the $46.5 million dollars:

  • $40 million will go toward a Cannabis Business Assistance Fund to assist small, minority-owned, and women-owned cannabis businesses and dispensaries. This allocation works hand in hand with the governor’s stance on building an equitable cannabis market. 
  • $5 million will go towards research and development by state health departments through a public health fund. 
  • $1.5 million will be put towards the Criminal Justice Information System to fund automatic expungements and record clearing of people convicted of simple cannabis possession in the past. 

This cannabis spending announcement is coming just days before the governor is expected to release the spending proposal for the next fiscal year.

During his campaign trail, Gov. Moore promised to prioritize “equitable access” to the cannabis industry and expunge and delete records of “anyone convicted of simple possession.” Both these promises signal a brighter future for both cannabis in Maryland and the country as a whole. With droves of young men sitting behind bars for simple cannabis possessions, we hope these efforts come into effect sooner rather than later. We hope the rest of the country can follow in Maryland’s footsteps.

cannabis industry and expunge

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