Maryland hemp group sues regulators.
This week, the Maryland Hemp Coalition, as well as a handful of hemp farmers and cannabis business owners, sued Gov. Wes Moore and regulators including the Maryland Cannabis Administration and the Maryland Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission.
The lawsuit comes after state lawmakers passed a new framework for the adult use industry, which included a cap on THC in hemp-derived cannabinoid products that aren’t sold in the regulated adult use market.
While lawmakers made attempts to weave in language for the hemp industry, these provisions failed to make the final cut in the big package passed. So, now, some hemp industry members in Maryland feel they have been left out in the cold — if they aren’t shifting to serve adult use cannabis consumers.
“My clients, who have been lawfully selling these products for years, are suddenly in a position where they are being told they can’t sell their products without a license, and yet the obstacles to get a license are nearly insurmountable,” Nevin Young, a lawyer representing the hemp industry, told WBFF, a local Fox affiliate in Baltimore.
+ More: Many members of the hemp industry, at a nearly four-hour-long Senate Finance Committee hearing in March, said that this cap was way too low and would require hemp businesses to buy costly cannabis licenses in order to sell their products, as Cannabis Wire reported.
“Refusing to amend this language would result in the loss of hundreds of jobs and countless families will find themselves in financial ruin,” Nicholas Patrick, owner of Embrace CBD Wellness Centers, said at the March 9 hearing.
Minnesota localities prepare for adult use.
While sales are not set to start until 2025, cannabis possession and home cultivation become legal in Minnesota on August 1, less than one week away.
The League of Minnesota Cities has published a primer for its stakeholders (i.e. cities) to remind them of what is and isn’t legal on that day, as well as what remains up in the air.
On that last point, the League specifically focuses on public consumption.
“The law is silent on whether cannabis can be smoked in public places other than public places governed by the [Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act]. While the law does not specifically authorize the use of cannabis in public places, it does not create any penalty for use in a public place other than those governed by the MCIAA. If a city would want an enforcement mechanism to prevent the use of cannabis in public places, it would need to adopt an ordinance prohibiting such use and make it a petty misdemeanor,” the League writes.
“The new law does not clearly define the types of locations that are considered not generally accessible by the public. Therefore, any city ordinance should clearly define such locations. Existing ordinances related to smoking in public places may cover cities for these products, cities should review their ordinances and determine if any changes are necessary.”
+ Related: over in Maryland, where adult use sales have just gotten underway, the forthcoming Maryland Association of Counties’ full agenda for its summer conference in August is out, and cannabis comes up in three contexts.
We already flagged for you one core panel that is broad in scope, from taxes to zoning (Will Tilburg, the director of the Maryland Cannabis Administration, is speaking). But it looks like there is also a separate panel focused on tourism that will include cannabis, and a panel hosted by the Maryland Association of County Health Officers that is titled “Adult-Use Cannabis Through a Public Health Lens.”
Ohio’s adult use campaign inches toward ballot.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol fell just 679 signatures short of the threshold to qualify their adult use measure for the November ballot, but the Secretary of State’s office is granting them ten days to collect some more.
“This is going to be easy, because a majority of Ohioans support our proposal to regulate and tax adult use marijuana. We look forward to giving Ohio voters a chance to make their voices heard this November,” CRMLA spokesperson Tom Haren said in a statement Tuesday.
As we recently reported in this newsletter, the Coalition has been working toward putting adult use on the ballot since 2021. Adult use was on the ballot once before, back in 2015, as Cannabis Wire co-founder Nushin Rashidian wrote for The Guardian.