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Maryland Lawmakers Unveil Bill To Launch Marijuana Sales, Months After Voters Approve Legalization On The Ballot

Maryland House and Senate lawmakers on Friday unveiled a much-anticipated bill to tax and regulate marijuana, months after voters approved a legalization referendum on the ballot.

Dels. Vanessa Atterbeary (D) and C. T. Wilson (D) are sponsoring the House legislation, while Sens. Brian Feldman (D) and Antonio Hayes (D) are carrying their chamber’s companion.

The measures would get the state prepared to regulate cannabis commerce as the state law legalizing possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for adults takes effect on July 1.

Under the proposals, cannabis would be taxed at six percent for the first fiscal year starting this summer. It would increase by one percent each year until 2028, maxing out at 10 percent.

The bills propose to put 30 percent of marijuana tax revenue toward a community reinvestment fund for at least the next 10 years. It further calls for 1.5 percent of revenue to go to localities and another 1.5 percent each for a Cannabis Public Health Fund and the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund.

The Marijuana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission would be renamed as the Maryland Alcohol, Tobacco and Cannabis Commission, which would be responsible for regulating the program. Under the commission, there would

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