The District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands have legalized the use of cannabis.
In January, Maryland lawmakers will be looking to finalize details of the state's new recreational cannabis industry.
The amendment to Maryland's constitution that legalized adult-use recreational marijuana was approved by voters in November. Cannabis is not currently legal. Lawmakers need to pass legislation governing licensing, regulation and taxation in order to allow adults to buy cannabis.
Failure to do so could lead to the loss of a large portion of the market to the black market.
There is a licensing structure that allows legal purchases while at the same time balancing other issues. A D-Baltimore. It is difficult. We don't have all the answers at the moment.
Cannabis legalization is a process
The House Judiciary Committee is chaired by Clippinger, who is also a member of the work group started by the House Speaker that is focused on the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults.
Establishing rules for licensing is one of the issues facing the legislature. Lawmakers want to make sure minorities have a chance to enter the market. The answers are more difficult than the focus is.
We have time to get those answers. We have time to make sure we have a structure to address those issues. Legalization of decriminalization.
The District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands have legalized the use of cannabis. The decriminalization of possession of the drug is going to be expanded in January.
In that month, possession of 2.5 ounces or more of marijuana is not a crime. Adults 21 and older can have up to two plants in July.
Laws governing the licensing, regulation and taxation of the industry will need to be passed by July 1 in order for marijuana to be legalized in Maryland.
The new chair of the Senate Education, Energy, and Environment Committee said that people are asking when they can legally buy cannabis.
If you don't put the product out into the marketplace quickly, the illegal market will grab up the market and the legal market won't get into the game. New York and Connecticut have recently had that happen. It is a large problem.
The study found that there was a 3-to-1 ratio of legal and illegal cannabis businesses in California.
In Colorado, less than half of the marijuana consumed in the state is legal. According to Jackson Brainerd, who covers tax and economic development issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15% of the market in Oregon is illegal.
The work group was briefed on recreational cannabis issues.
Efforts to get a recreational market up and running in New York have been lagging behind. An Acapulco Gold rush of illegal shops seeking to establish themselves in a post-legalization New York market was sparked by confusion caused by New York's law.
Because of the civil offenses and a desire to move away from the drug war policies of the past, law enforcement and governments have been reluctant to crack down on those illegal dealers.
There needs to be a place to buy this legal product for adults over the age of 21 that is taxed, regulated and tested. Until we put in place that framework, you won't be able to purchase that legal product anywhere.
Ten years ago, states moved to cannabis legalization.
Medical marijuana was approved in Maryland. Three years before the first legal sales.
A number of cannabis lawsuits were filed after the first round of licenses.
Four years after receiving those licenses, businesses have yet to move through the final stages of approval and production.
State regulators gave final approval to one dispensary five years ago.
Licensing will cannabis remains a hot topic. The state's first elected Black executive wants to ensure minority ownership and wealth-building opportunities. The start of the medical industry was hampered by lawsuits.
Under certain circumstances, set asides for minorities are not allowed. Laws were passed that required a study like the one done for the medical industry.
There can't be new licenses until we have a disparity study. There is no disparity study that has been received by the General Assembly. The issue of social equity licenses might be delayed because of that.
What are the consequences?
According to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, retail sales of medical marijuana in the state exceeded half a billion dollars in November.
With the addition of a legal recreational market, cannabis sales in the state could increase to as much as $2 billion a year.
The expansion of available licenses for growers, processors and retail stores is expected to result from that.
If the marketplace triples there is an argument to be made that they should triple the number of licenses they give out. That would be a great goal for the state to achieve. More people should be given the chance to participate. I don't believe in limiting people's chances. If you have a good business plan, you should be able to effectuate that.
There is a lot of product in the state.
There has been an increase in the amount of raw cannabis flower. Monthly sales to medical patients decreased from a high in April to a low in November.
According to Van Wingerden, the retail price of raw cannabis flower has decreased over the last two years from $65 to about $20 an ounce.
While Van Wingerden is not a fan of limiting opportunity, he said that creative limits on the industry could allow for the existing industry to sell now and save market share for new businesses.
Van Wingerden said there was a way to do this.
Colorado has a cap on the amount of product a grower can produce. It is possible to set similar caps for existing license holders.
He said that if we turn on July 1, you should prevent existing growers from building more space and capacity. If you limit my ability to expand and keep me where I am, then I won't be able to grow as fast as I would like. Saving market share for them is what you're doing.
Keywords: Van Wingerden,market, Maryland,cannabis
The Cannabis Bodega Was Beautiful While It Lasted
New York will have its first recreational cannabis store on December 29 The Housing Works–operated shop will take over the space previously occupied by the Gap on 8th and Broadway, a sign of hard times for traditional retail. Absent from the location were murals with friendly, stoned faces of Rick and Morty, SpongeBob, or the Pink Panther, neon lights, décor such as a skull with a joint in its mouth, and imported Korean Ruffles. During the hours of 2 and 8 a.m., Cheetos and Korean Ruffles are the only things you want to eat.
What's the reason? The Office of Cannabis Management in New York says that the era of the weed bodega is about to end. The state's legal weed retailers will be subject to an extremely long list of regulations. The décor rules in particular seem designed to kill the gray-market upstarts that flooded the city in the beautiful, wild period between decriminalization and the rollout of official licenses. If regulators walked into a cannabis bodega and banned everything they saw, it would be as if they banned everything else. Also banned are signs that depict cannabis, cannabis products, or the imagery of smoking or vaping. As the city begins to enforce these rules, the visage of a rasta Alvin the Chipmunk will disappear from our cityscape.
Vendors in the gray market have been found to be selling products that were contaminated with bacteria. People should be able to buy weed from a store that doesn't have E. coli. Although supposedly highly controlled, model recreational weed purveyors have been found to sell contaminated goods, the same as we have failures in the safety controls on markets. Is it possible that cannabis storefronts aren't designed to look like weed Disney World so that passing 6-year-olds won't ask their parents to go inside? Yes, that's right.
The end of the cannabis market's irreverence is signaled by the guidance. Beauty is a fragile gift. What is left for the senses if a store can't have a giant inflatable blunt? Med men are sterile. It's tragic. Can a store that is painted with a portrait of Ren and Stimpy not be safe, regulated, and secure? Is it possible to black out the store windows so that the 21-plus set can appreciate the spicy chicken-flavor chips?
In New York, the answer seems to be no. The era of the cannabis bodega may be coming to an end after the news in November that City Hall launched a task force to combat illegal cannabis sales. We didn't know you.
The Cannabis Bodega was beautiful while it was alive.
Keywords: running on December, imported Korean Ruffles, weed bodega,cannabis