Maryland House OKs recreational marijuana framework billPosted by On

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland House voted Friday for a measure that would create a legal framework and tax structure to enable recreational marijuana to be sold in stores as soon as July 1.

The House voted 103-32 for the bill, sending it to the Senate, which is moving forward with a separate measure.

Although Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment in November to legalize recreational marijuana, lawmakers left details about implementation to be decided this session.

“You might not have agreed with marijuana or the vote that our citizens took, but they took it, so it’s now our obligation to create an adult-use program,“ said Del. C.T. Wilson, the chair of the House Economic Matters Committee. ”And it’s our duty 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.”

Under the constitutional amendment, which received 67% of the vote, adults ages 21 and older will be able to legally posses up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis on July 1. A household will also be allowed to grow up to two marijuana plants.

The measure that passed Friday would enable existing medical cannabis dispensaries to have dual licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Lawmakers also focused on including an equity component to allow new licenses to grow, process or dispense cannabis. Priority will be given to minority owners in communities that…

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