Maryland House Passes Industrial Hemp Bill Through Second Reading

An industrial hemp bill that’s already been passed by Maryland’s Senate has been passed through its second reading in the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 1201 was passed Friday through its second reading in the House. The vote comes a little over two weeks after it was passed unanimously (47 to 0) by the Senate.

The proposed law would establish “an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to authorize and facilitate the research of industrial hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes”. It would require “the Department of Agriculture to certify and register a site that will be used to grow or cultivate industrial hemp; etc.”.

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Maryland Senate Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill, Already Passed House

A Maryland Senate committee has passed a measure to expand the state’s medical marijuana program by increasing the number of licensed growers and processors.

The Senate Finance Committee approved the measure on Friday, sending it towards a full Senate vote. The bill has already been passed by the full House of Representatives, though it was amended in committee meaning the House would need to vote on it again if passed by the Senate, before it can be sent to Governor Larry Hogan for consideration.

The proposed law would increase the number of licensed medical marijuana growers from 15 to 22, a roughly 50% increase. It would also double the number of medical marijuana processors, from 15 to 30 (five more than allowed under the House-approved version of the bill).

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Maryland Senate Advances Bill to Increase Marijuana Possession Limit from 10 Grams to 28 Grams

Legislation to nearly triple the amount of marijuana allowed under a decriminalization law passed in 2014 has been passed through its second reading in the Maryland Senate.

In Maryland, the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana for personal use has been decriminalized since 2014. Senate Bill 127, according to an official summary, “increases the amount of marijuana below which possession is a civil offense from 10 grams to one ounce and makes conforming changes.” The measure was passed Thursday through its second reading in the Senate, the day after it was approved by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Senate Bill 127, filed by Senator Robert Zirkin, must now be passed through a third and final reading in the Senate before it can be sent to the House of Representatives. If also passed by the House, the bill would go to Governor Larry Hogan for final consideration.

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After Years of Delay, Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Maryland

Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana on Friday, ending years of delays.

Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. William Askinazi, one of the owners, said people who work at the store were euphoric that the day had finally arrived.

“You can tell there’s a buzz, and we’re excited for so many reasons,” Askinazi said. “We’re giving care to people who need it.”

A long line of people cheered late Friday as sales began.

Read moreAfter Years of Delay, Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Maryland

Marijuana Expungement Bill Becomes Law in Maryland

A marijuana expungement bill has officially become law in Maryland.

Senate Bill 949 was given approval by the House in April with a vote of 94 to 43; prior to that the measure passed the Senate with a unanimous 47 to 0 vote. Following inaction from Governor Larry Hogan, the legislation officially became law on Sunday, October 1st.

According to official language, Senate Bill 949 would allow for the expungement (removal) of a marijuana charge if “the person was convicted of possession of marijuana under §5–601 of the Criminal Law Article”. The measure initially required “that filing fees for petitions for expungement collected by the District Court be remitted to the Administrative Office of the Court be used only for a specified purpose”, but that was amended out in the House.

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Maryland House Approves Marijuana Expungement Bill, Already Passed Senate

A marijuana expungement bill has been passed by Maryland’s full House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 949 was given approval by the House today with a 94 to 43 vote; the measure has already passed the Senate with a unanimous 47 to 0 vote. Given it was amended in the House, it will need to go back to the Senate to receive one final vote before being sent to Governor Larry Hogan for final consideration.

According to official language, Senate Bill 949 would allow for the expungement (removal) of a marijuana charge if “the person was convicted of possession of marijuana under §5–601 of the Criminal Law Article”. The measure initially required “that filing fees for petitions for expungement collected by the District Court be remitted to the Administrative Office of the Court be used only for a specified purpose”, but that was amended out in the House.

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Maryland House Passes Marijuana Expungement Bill, Companion Measure Already Passed Senate

Legislation allowing for the expungement (removal from record) of certain marijuana possession offenses has been passed by Maryland’s full House of Representatives.

House Bill 379 was passed by the House with a 104 to 32 vote. A companion measure, Senate Bill 949, was given approval by the Senate last week with a unanimous 47 to 0 vote.

According to its official synopsis, House Bill 379 allows a person “to file a petition for expungement if the person was convicted of possession of marijuana before October 1, 2014. The proposal requires “that filing fees for petitions for expungement collected by the District Court be remitted to the Administrative Office of the Court be used only for a specified purpose.”

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Maryland Senate Committee Votes in Favor of Marijuana Expungement Bill

Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has given a favorable vote to Senate Bill 949.

Marijuana ExpungementThe proposal would allow a person convicted of possession of marijuana before October 1, 2014 to file for an expungement (removal) of the charge. According to its official summary; “This bill expands eligibility for expungements to include convictions for possession of marijuana under § 5-601 of the Criminal Law Article before October 1, 2014.”

October 1st, 2014 marked the first day of a new statewide law in Maryland that decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis, making it a civil fine rather than an arrestable misdemeanor.

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Maryland Senate to Hold Hearing Thursday on Marijuana Legalization Bill

Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on a bill that would legalize and regulate marijuana in a way similar to alcohol.

Senate Bill 928, filed by Senator Richard Madaleno Jr., would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis, while establishing a licensed and regulated system of cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers. Prior charges for cannabis that were made legal by the bill would be expunged for those who were 21 and older at the time of conviction.

“I’m a retired narcotics officer and Maryland native, and I support regulating marijuana for adult use because it will make our state safer,” says Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, who plans to testify at the hearing Thursday. “Decriminalizing marijuana took the crime out of possessing it, but it did not address the criminal element associated with production and sales. Maryland’s prohibition system is keeping dangerous illegal growers and dealers in business. Adopting a tightly regulated system of licensed cultivators and sellers will weaken criminals who endanger our children, communities, and police officers.”

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Maryland Marijuana Legalization Bill Announced

Marijuana would be legalized, regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol under legislation Maryland lawmakers plan to introduce this week.

“Now is the time to join other states and move toward a sensible system of regulation and taxation,” said Senator Richard Madaleno (D) at a Monday press conference. Madaleno announced two forthcoming Senate bills; one would legalize and regulate cannabis, and one would tax it.

Under the proposed laws, which will be officially filed later this week, those 21 and older would be allowed to possess and grow cannabis for personal use. The measures would also establish a system of licensed cannabis retail outlets, supplied by licensed cultivation centers. Cannabis would be taxed at $30 an ounce, plus a 9% sales tax.

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