How Maryland’s weed market will work
Maryland residents will be able to buy weed from legal recreational dispensaries this summer.
Driving the news: Lawmakers on Friday passed the final version of a bill to set up the state’s recreational market. The governor is expected to sign it into law.
Why it matters: The legislation makes Maryland the first state in the region to have a recreational market. D.C. and Virginia allow recreational marijuana use, but Virginia lawmakers failed to legalize recreational sales this year while D.C.’s recreational market operates in a legal gray zone.
Catch up quick: The bill comes after Maryland voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana. The retail market would be in place on July 1.
How it works: Starting this summer, licenses will be issued for different types of recreational sellers:
- 75 growers, 300 dispensaries, and 200 delivery services.
- There will also be “micro-licenses,” which would let sellers and growers operate in small spaces with smaller batches.
Of note: Maryland already allows medical dispensaries; those would pay a fee to become medical and recreational dispensaries when the market is up and running. New businesses would be able to get approved then, too.
What’s new: The state will create a new agency to regulate the market. The agency will also be required to set up a cannabis testing lab, which will test products for potency to ensure compliance with the state law.
- Under the legislation, sales tax will be capped at 9%.
- On-site consumption of marijuana, like at a cafe or restaurant, will be allowed, but marijuana can’t be smoked in those locations, only eaten.
What we’re watching: In an effort to address how marginalized communities were harmed by the war on drugs, the bill also creates a social equity office to promote retailers from marginalized communities through grant programs.
- 35% of taxes from sales will go toward the “community reinvestment and repair fund” to support community-based organizations.
More Washington D.C. stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..