Maryland cannabis retail zoning would be less restrictive under new bill

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Maryland county governments could have less control on where recreational cannabis stores set up shop if a bill that moved ahead in the state General Assembly is passed into law.

House Bill 805 would make it more difficult for county governments to create zoning restrictions for adult-use retailers, according to Chevy Chase, Maryland-based radio station WTOP.

Del. C.T. Wilson, the bill’s sponsor, said counties restricting where marijuana shops can operate will lead to unwanted clusters of stores.

“The goal is not to cluster them in one area so they feed off each other. It makes zero sense to somehow crowd them all into one area,” Wilson previously said at a hearing for the bill, according to WTOP.

The bill wouldn’t allow county governments to issue zoning restrictions on cannabis retailers that are more restrictive than those on liquor stores.

Maryland marijuana shops already must be located at least 1,000 feet from each other or at least 500 feet from child care centers, playgrounds, schools and other areas.

The state launched its adult-use market in July 2023 and closed out the year with $331.8 million in sales.