Recreational cannabis will be on Maryland ballot in November

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Maryland voters will have an opportunity to legalize a recreational cannabis market in November after a vote by state lawmakers put the question on the statewide ballot.

According to the Associated Press, the Maryland House of Delegates approved the recreational marijuana referendum in a 94-39 vote Friday.

The state Senate had approved the ballot question in February.

That positions Maryland as a likely candidate to join other states that have legalized adult-use markets, given that polls of Marylanders show solid support for legalization.

Lawmakers also approved a companion measure that, if the legalization question succeeds in November, would implement a regulatory structure.

However, the measure leaves open-ended questions related to taxation and licensing for lawmakers to resolve in 2023.

If the ballot measure succeeds, adult-use marijuana possession and use by consumers would become legal in July 2023.

It’s unclear when licensed sales might begin.

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Both bills were approved by the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities, the AP reported, and the referendum doesn’t need to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan before going to the ballot.

The governor would need to sign the implementation bill into law, however.