Cannabis Reform bill passes MD Senate without local amendment allowing towns to raise fines for public smoking
MARYLAND- The Cannabis Reform act of 2023- has now passed the senate and heads over to the Maryland house creating a pathway for businesses.
The measure establishes the Maryland Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission to regulate the market, as well as create fees to allow existing license holders to convert to full recreational usage.
The measure passed without an amendment introduced by Senator Mary Beth Carozza to allow local governments like Ocean City to impose stricter fines for smoking in public.
She believes legalization will increase use in public spaces like the OC boardwalk.
“This reality is going to become more of an issue, smoking in public when you have the legalization of recreational marijuana, when you out there on the boardwalk or these public places- the smell of marijuana and there are children around its not conducive to people wanting to get out there and spend time,” Senator Carozza said.
Sen Carozza testified during the senate hearing, adding that another bill is looking to lower the allowable penalties for public consumption, and this would have given local control back to localities to set their fines.