The State’s fiscal picture, and a pending commitment to substantial new education investments, has driven talk of authorizing new activities that carry substantial new revenue potential. Public health, social equity, local reinvestment, tax and license structures, and economic development remain at the forefront of the discussion as state lawmakers consider how to best foster the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry.
And although leaders of the Maryland General Assembly’s Marijuana Legalization Workgroup recently indicated that they will not endorse legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis for the upcoming 2020 session, this issue will undoubtedly continue to be a hot topic in the years ahead.
At the MACo Winter Conference session, Cannabis Conundrum: Looking Toward Legalization, an expert panel explained how state legislation may impact county governments, and shared best practices for navigating the fast-changing political, social, and regulatory landscape of adult-use cannabis.
Anne Arundel Community College professor, Shad Ewart, who is the architect of the first course to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in Maryland’s emerging medical cannabis industry, discussed the current state of Maryland’s program. He also detailed various state models for adult-use cannabis, provided best practices and recommendations for state and local governments in Maryland, and discussed the revenue-generating potential of statewide legalization of adult-use cannabis.
Albert (Bert) B. Randall, Jr., Esq., President, Franklin & Prokopik, P.C. provided a national regulatory perspective, along with discussing the current dichotomy between Maryland’s medical cannabis law and federal law. Randall also highlighted potential implications for county employers, including liability for injuries that occur while an employee is seemingly impaired.
The session was moderated by Queen Anne’s County Commissioner and MACo Board Member, Jack Wilson, and held on Friday, December 6, 2019.
The 2019 MACo Winter Conference, “Building for the Future,” was held on December 4-6, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year’s conference focused on county governance challenges and best practices – from the foundation to the rooftop – that will decide Maryland’s future.
More about the MACo Winter Conference: