Voters widely approved it last November, and in two months, legal cannabis will become a reality in the state of Maryland.
Governor Wes Moore signed the state’s framework into law Wednesday, and now Baltimore County is looking to bring its own laws up to speed.
Councilman Julian Jones, chair of the Baltimore County Council, introduced that update at the council’s meeting this past Monday. The measure would apply county rules for medical dispensaries to recreational ones.
“For me, it was just a matter of making sure our laws are current,” said Jones.
As with medical dispensaries before, it would prohibit shops within 500 feet of a school or a daycare. It would also separate dispensaries roughly half a mile from each other.
“I believe it’s probably the same, like we had with so many other things, like alcohol sales and everything else,” said Jones. “We’ve always kept those things away from schools, and so that was the same here.”
Marylanders over 21 can soon buy cannabis at a nine percent sales tax.
The state also plans to fund social equity within the new industry, providing opportunities to those disproportionately hurt by the war on drugs.
“The criminalization of marijuana harmed low income communities and communities of color in a profound way. We want to make sure the legalization of marijuana lifts those communities now in a profound way,” Gov. Wes Moore (D) said Wednesday.
Sales can start this July. So, too, would Baltimore County’s framework.
“We’re just keeping everything up to date,” Jones added.
The bill is on the docket for discussion later this month, on May 30. The council is scheduled to vote on it June 5. (Full Story)