In August, collective adult-use and medical cannabis purchases reached $91.7 million, more than the $87.4 million total for July — which was more than double the $42.7 million total for June, before the launch of adult-use retail sales, according to the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA).
As previously reported on Conduit Street, as of July 1, adult-use cannabis is legal under Maryland law. Nearly all existing medical dispensaries (approximately 100 locations statewide) have converted their licenses and can sell medical and adult-use cannabis products to adults 21+ with valid government identification.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, HB 556/SB 516 of 2023 imposes a sales and use tax on the sale of adult-use cannabis in Maryland. The tax rate is 9 percent of the purchase price of any product containing cannabis.
While implementation across jurisdictions has been a variable as different states have taken various approaches, one commonality is that virtually all states have empowered a meaningful local revenue source to support local services. Some have fully authorized local excise taxes where rates are set and collections are overseen locally. Others have approved local sales taxes at either standardized or variable rates locally.
For example, in New York, there is both a 13 percent excise tax (9 percent state and 4 percent local) on cannabis sales (paid by consumers and remitted by retailers) and a potency-based tax (remitted by distributors). Oregon levies a 17 percent excise tax on cannabis sales paid by consumers and remitted by retailers. Local governments can also levy up to a 3 percent tax on the retail price.
While there are no local cannabis taxes in Maryland, the state does levy a 9 percent excise tax on any product containing cannabis. But, a mere five percent of state cannabis tax revenue goes to local governments. That translates to local governments receiving a mere 45 cents for a single purchase of $100 of cannabis- the smallest in the nation.
Municipalities will receive half of the local revenue share for transactions within municipal boundaries (counties will retain the other half on such transactions). In addition, 35 percent of the tax proceeds will go to the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund, a new fund for local organizations that support marginalized communities.
This fall, MCA will accept applications for an initial round of new grower, processor, and dispensary licenses, the first available exclusively to social equity applicants nationwide.
MCA will provide education, outreach, and technical assistance online, in person, and through attendance at several events, with initial awards anticipated by January 1, 2024.
In preparation for adult-use cannabis, MCA developed and distributed point-of-sale toolkits with consumer education materials to all licensed dispensaries. According to MCA, this is the most comprehensive information in the country that has been provided to consumers at the inception of legal adult-use sales.
These materials can all be found for viewing and download here. MCA anticipates printing additional copies of consumer education materials to share with partners. If you are interested in receiving materials for distribution, please send a detailed request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, MCA has developed eight:15 videos for social media and fact sheets on several topics that MCA encourages partners to share and post. In addition, public education videos and more information on the new law, consumption, and dosage guidance are available on the MCA website.
MCA also published the “Marylander’s Guide for Responsible Cannabis Consumption,” containing crucial public safety and public health information and materials.
Visit cannabis.maryland.gov for additional information.