Maryland Sees Clearer Path to Cannabis Legalization

Maryland Sees Clearer Path to Cannabis Legalization

In November, Maryland voters will get to decide whether the state allows recreational cannabis. There has always been a chance that Governor Larry Hogan would attempt to veto the results of a voter initiative. Recently, the path to cannabis legalization became clearer as Governor Hogan says he will not interfere with results. Whatever the voters choose will become law.

Governor Hogan Was a Potential Block for Recreational Cannabis

Advocates for recreational cannabis legalization have worried that Governor Hogan might block laws allowing broader access to cannabis and related products. 

The House of Delegates approved a bill allowing the ballot initiative last February. Votes largely fell along party lines, with Republicans attempting to block the Democrat-sponsored law. Hogan, a Republican, could have blocked the results through his veto power. Now, Hogan says that he will not make such an attempt. Hogan has held the governor’s position for two terms and will face reelection in November.

What Would the Ballot Initiative Achieve?

If voters approve the initiative, it would add a constitutional amendment allowing recreational cannabis possession of up to 1.5 ounces. It would not, however, create a framework for retail sales and tax collections. This likely means that adults 21 and over will be able to possess cannabis but dispensaries, which currently sell medical cannabis, will not be able to sell products directly to consumers until the legislature passes laws that regulate the industry.

April 12, 2022Comments Off

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