HB32 would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, referred to as cannabis in the bill, for adults 21 and older and also allow for expungement and release for individuals previously arrested or incarcerated.
Lewis argued at the hearing that the bill would take the production of cannabis off of the streets to ensure safer products, while simultaneously creating jobs, helping small businesses, and bringing in potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.
General fund and special fund revenues in Maryland would be expected to increase significantly in future fiscal years due to taxes, licensing fees, and civil penalty fines, according to a fiscal analysis. Exact dollar amounts, and the market for recreational cannabis, are unpredictable, according to the analysis.
Legalizing cannabis would increase the state’s expenditures significantly in the first year to establish regulatory and tax frameworks, as well as the cost of implementing the bill’s social equity provisions. [Read More @ The Washington Post]