Maryland to study legalizing adult-use marijuana in 2020, signaling no action this year

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Maryland lawmakers have formed a bipartisan group to study the possibility of legalizing recreational cannabis in 2020 via legislation or referendum.

The working group’s formation indicates that legalization legislation introduced earlier this month isn’t likely to pass this year, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Bills to legalize adult-use marijuana recently were introduced in the Maryland Senate and House, with hearings scheduled for Feb. 26 and March 6, respectively, according to legislative calendars.

House Speaker Michael Busch, a Democrat from Annapolis, was quoted as saying he wanted legislators to “understand all of the complexities of legalization” before moving forward.

The working group will examine the following, among other issues:

  • The best way to license and tax the industry.
  • How to ensure market participation by small businesses, women-owned enterprises and minority-owned companies.

Maryland is a little more than a year into a medical marijuana industry that generated nearly $100 million in sales in its first 12 months.