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Maryland Senate Will Vote On Marijuana Sales Bill Next Week, As Lawmakers Consider Hemp Industry Input And New Studies

Maryland’s Senate president says the body will vote next week on a bill to create regulations for an adult-use marijuana market, getting the state prepared for a voter-approved legalization law that takes effect this summer.

Senators have a number of factors to take into account as they prepare to enact the reform, including feedback from hemp industry stakeholders who’ve raised concerns about possible ramifications of the legislation and newly released reports from regulators on consumer trends.

Senate President Bill Ferguson (D) said during a press briefing on Friday that the chamber’s version of a cannabis regulations bill is “nearing completion,” and the plan is to “have it on the Senate floor early next week.”

The House already approved its companion version this month. The bills were identical when introduced, but the House bill has been amended throughout the legislative process.

Ferguson suggested that his chamber’s legislation, which was discussed in the Senate Finance Committee earlier this month, will also be revised, especially in light of issues identified by hemp businesses who feel the measure as drafted could inadvertently upend their businesses.

The Senate president said that “a lot of legislators are struggling with it right now,” describing it as a

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