As you may know, Maryland passed new legislation this year making medical marijuana legal. But the details (and isn’t the devil always in the details?) were to be set forth in regulations promulgated by a 15 member Commission.
That Commission has finally approved the draft rules, after 2 delays. The deadline was supposed to be September 15. Turns out making rules about pot is a pretty complicated process. (There are a lot of stoner and slacker jokes I could make about this Commission, but I am holding back.)
The rules provide for smoking pot, or drinking it in liquid form, but there are no regulations for eating pot, like in brownies and lollipops.They said those regulations were too complicated. What? No rules for munchies? (Oops. I couldn’t hold it in.)
One of the interesting tidbits from the draft regulations include a $125,000 per year license for growing pot, and a $40,000 per year license for selling it. Those are huge numbers. They are some of the highest in the country. Some advocates fear these steep fees will mean the pot business will remain in the hands of a few large players, and stifle the bids to get these licenses.
It is unclear to me why the state would make the cost of the end product cost more just so they can get more tax money? At some point, the guy on the street has cheaper pot than the regulated store. Isn’t that a bad idea? Isn’t one of the arguments for making pot legal the idea of taking the dealer on the street corner out of the picture?
The most interesting thing to watch is how the incoming Hogan administration will treat the whole medical marijuana issue. Won’t they have a lot of power to slow this process down via their own regulations? Will they? Hogan has said he won’t comment until after his inauguration day. I guess we will all stay tuned. To read more, see this article in the Baltimore Sun.