Delegate Luke Clippinger, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, has filed HB 837, which will serve as companion legislation to HB 1, a bill that would refer the question of cannabis legalization to Maryland voters on the November 2022 ballot.
You can check out our full summary of the companion bill here.
While it’s encouraging that the House will consider companion legislation to the referendum, it still lacks the major priorities that the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition has been advocating for. As currently written, adults could not legally possess cannabis until July 2023, and home cultivation would carry a criminal penalty of up to three years' imprisonment.
There are several changes to the bill that we think would establish an equitable cannabis policy in Maryland. You can check out our suggestions to improve HB 837 here.
Please reach out to your lawmakers and ask them to legalize possession immediately and allow adults to cultivate a small number of plants!
A virtual hearing has been scheduled for both HB 1 and HB 837 in the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, February 14 at 10 a.m. We encourage folks to provide written and/or oral testimony at the hearing. You must sign up to testify 48 hours before the hearing — the sign-up will be open on Thursday, February 10 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here you can find more information and a video tutorial on signing up to testify.
It’s important your lawmakers hear from their constituents. Please reach out to your lawmakers and ask them to legalize cannabis this year without delay and consider raising your voice in support of equitable legalization at the hearing on February 14.
We expect Senate bills on cannabis legalization to be dropped soon, so stay tuned for updates from the Senate too!