House of Delegates approves bills to refer legalization to voters in November!

Last update: March 1, 2022

On Friday, February 25, 2022, the House of Delegates approved HB 1, legislation that would refer the question of legalization to voters on the ballot in November, and its companion, HB 837! This marked the first time either chamber in Maryland’s legislature has voted on a bill to legalize cannabis. The bills now head to Senate for consideration.

HB 837 includes details for initial steps for cannabis legalization — such as possession and home cultivation limits, limited expungement, and funding for minority- and women-owned businesses — that would be contingent on voter approval of HB 1. It does not set up a licensing or regulatory system. Simple possession would not become legal until July 2023. You can check out our full summary of HB 837 here.

Meanwhile, on the Senate side, two comprehensive legalization bills have been introduced. Sen. Brian Feldman’s SB 833, which is a constitutional amendment with implementing legislation that would legalize cannabis for adults and provides details on establishing a system to regulate and tax cannabis. A separate bill, Sen. Jill Carter’s SB 692, does not send the question of legalization to the ballot and would also set up a regulatory framework for an adult-use cannabis market. 

You can check out our summary of SB 833 here and SB 692 here. The bills are scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on March 3 at 1 p.m.

According to a recent Goucher poll, 67 percent of Marylanders now support legalization. Please reach out to your lawmakers and ask them to support legalization in 2022!