MD Session 2022: Recreational Cannabis

The Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 1; legislation that will let voters choose whether recreational, adult use cannabis becomes legal in Maryland. The measure to approve recreational cannabis is expected to be overwhelmingly supported by voters in November 2022.

This year (as in past years) Compass’ clients have worked with sponsors in both chambers to advance language that would open up funding from cannabis sales tax revenues to youth development organizations. Although some clients do not take a position on the question of recreational cannabis, it’s important to advocate for sustainable funding sources where they exist. The Senate adopted our recommended language, but the House adopted and passed broader funding language in House Bill 837 that creates a Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund. The Fund will receive at least 30% of all adult use, or recreational cannabis sales tax revenue and a portion of licensing fees. The fund will be apportioned based on cannabis policing and counties will have authority over how to reinvest their proceeds from the fund in community programming. The enormous racial disparities in criminal enforcement of cannabis were a clear factor to adopt broader community reinvestment language, and there will absolutely be opportunities for clubs to apply. Compass anticipates additional regulations and future legislation on recreational cannabis and how it is taxed and regulated in Maryland.

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