Two months after Maryland approved legislation to create a regulatory framework for recreational cannabis sales, the state has officially launched its adult-use market. State lawmakers approved Senate Bill 516 in April following months of negotiation on key issues such as social equity and taxation before forwarding it to the governor’s desk.
Governor Wes Moore signed the measure into law in May and set the stage for recreational sales in Maryland, stating at the time that the bill would make sure Maryland’s recreational cannabis market would provide equitable opportunity. The recreational cannabis bill finally took effect last week and made simple possession and personal cultivation of cannabis legal. It will also allow existing medical cannabis dispensaries to begin selling adult-use marijuana, ensuring that the state’s recreational market will see a relatively quick launch just months after legalization.
Regulators have already approved close to 100 dispensaries and converted their medical cannabis licenses to dual licenses that will allow businesses to serve both medical cannabis patients and adult consumers from July 1, 2023. The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) has also approved 38 recreational cannabis cultivators and manufacturers to help supply the burgeoning market.
Cannabis is without a doubt one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. The industry has created hundreds of thousands of new job opportunities and generated billions of dollars in annual taxes, with states such as California regularly reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in cannabis taxes per year.
Most states with legal cannabis markets have also included social equity provisions that ensure members of communities that were disproportionately affected by the failed war on drugs have equitable access to the lucrative cannabis market.
Speaking at a recent Cannabis Regulators Association (CANRA) conference, Governor Moore noted that cannabis policy has been used to oppress people of color in the past and weakened not just certain communities but the country as a whole. He said that the state was now penning a new chapter in America’s sordid tale with cannabis, a chapter focused on ensuring both equity and economic growth.
Acting MCA Director Will Tilburg said that the association is excited to “offer safe, legal and tested” cannabis products to adults, and urged consumers to learn about the recreational cannabis law and practice safe, responsible cannabis consumption.
Customers can now purchase pre-rolled joints, dried cannabis flower, disposable vape pens, vape cartridges, capsules, topical products and edibles with no more than 10mg of THC per serving and 100 mg of THC per package.
Smoking in public spaces, restaurants and moving cars is not allowed, and it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana or transport cannabis products out of the state of Maryland.
As more U.S. states start implementing recreational cannabis programs, several enterprises such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are also working to raise the bar for the medical use of marijuana by developing formulations that meet the requirements of regulators such as the FDA before such formulations are licensed for use within the healthcare system.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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