HOUSE OF DELEGATES

SPECIAL COMMITTEES & WORK GROUPS

CANNABIS REFERENDUM & LEGALIZATION WORK GROUP

Appointed by House Speaker:
Luke H. Clippinger, Chair
Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk, Vice-Chair

Staff: Erin R. Hopwood; e-mail: erin.hopwood@mlis.state.md.us
Laura H. Atas; e-mail: laura.atas@mlis.state.md.us
George H. Butler; e-mail: george.butler@mlis.state.md.us
Claire E. Rossmark; e-mail: claire.rossmark@mlis.state.md.us
Stanford D. Ward; e-mail: stan.ward@mlis.state.md.us

c/o Department of Legislative Services
Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401 (410) 946-5500, (301) 970-5500, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 5400 (toll free)
e-mail: erin.hopwood@mlis.state.md.us

In July 2021, the House Speaker convened the Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Work Group.

The Work Group will craft the implementation of a legalized cannabis program in Maryland, should the voters approve the ballot question in November 2022. Its charge is to determine the regulatory, licensing and oversight structure of the production, sale, and possession of legalized cannabis, including the licensing application process, the number of licenses, and equity in ownership of marijuana facilities.

The issue of expungement of previous convictions for cannabis will be addressed by the Work Group, which also is to determine changes to existing criminal laws related to cannabis. In addition, the Work Group will identify the structure for potential release of those convicted solely of marijuana-related crimes, and for dismissal of pending marijuana charges; and review existing criminal and traffic laws related to marijuana, including paraphernalia and cannabis accessories. Moreover, the Work Group is to structure equitable ownership in cannabis-related businesses; construct social equity programs to compensate communities impacted by over-incarceration for marijuana-related crimes; craft a taxation structure and revenue distribution from cannabis proceeds; expand addiction treatment programs and healthcare support for substance abuse; and determine the impact on medical cannabis programs, and on other collateral rights and licenses.

The Work Group has four subcommittees to focus on: Business Implementation; Cannabis Taxation; Criminal Justice Impacts; and Health Determinants.

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