After Marylanders approved recreational cannabis legalization in 2022, lawmakers in the state finalized the regulations for the state’s legal recreational cannabis industry on April 7, 2023.
The law proposes licensing, taxation, and regulations for the sale of cannabis as well as a new agency to manage the market, which will supplement the current medical marijuana sector. According to the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission, there were 100 operational medical dispensaries in the state in 2022, and they generated $510 million in revenue.
The Constitutional Amendment
According to the adopted legislative amendment, marijuana will be legal to consume and possess in Maryland for people aged 21 and older starting on July 1, 2023. The approval of the referendum on the ballot also makes the following provisions in addition to permitting use and possession:
- Setting up a procedure for expungement in cases where the sole offense is possessing less than 10 grams of cannabis, in addition to other measures for expungement.
- Increasing the quantity of cannabis that a person can possess and yet be subject to a civil fine rather than a criminal punishment from 10 grams to 2.5 ounces.
- Creating a Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council to provide the General Assembly with suggestions on cannabis legislation.
- Providing additional financing for a range of community-based, business, and public health projects related to the legalization of cannabis for adults in the state.
The legislative session for 2023 started on January 11 and come to an end on April 10.
What Does Recreational Cannabis Legalization Mean For SOP Requirements?
Every cannabis business owner understands the importance of SOPs for the success of their venture. SOPs comes in handy when applying for cannabis licenses and help avoid penalties and license terminations. Get experts to write SOPs for your business to help you acquire licenses and stay compliant.
Social Equity A Priority
The first licenses granted in Maryland will be reserved for social equity applicants in order to encourage equity in the cannabis business and ownership by people adversely impacted by marijuana prohibition. An applicant must have at least 65% ownership by someone who has attended a public school in or lived in a “disproportionately impacted area” for five of the previous ten years in order to be eligible.
What Does The New Law Entail?
In order to regulate the market, the state will establish a new agency. The organization must also set up a cannabis testing facility, which will examine the potency of products to make sure they comply with state legislation.
Under the new cannabis recreational legislation in Maryland:
- Sales tax to be capped at 9%.
- Marijuana use will be permitted on-site in places like cafes and restaurants, but only as edibles; no smoking is permitted there.
What Are The SOP Requirements Under Maryland’s New Recreational Cannabis Program?
Your cannabis store should have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place to handle daily operations.
There are several SOPs for dispensaries that can be created, and as your business grows, they should continue to evolve. SOPs for dispensaries are designed to boost productivity and support long-term profitability.
- Opening and closing procedures
- Customer check-in
- Sales transaction
- Delivery procedures
- Security, accounting, and cash management
- Inventory management
- Product recall and emergencies
- Waste management
- Employee management
Will Medical Cannabis Get Affected?
The medical marijuana program in Maryland won’t be altered. At dispensaries, customers can still buy medical marijuana tax-free, exactly like they have in the past. The same dispensaries will sell to recreational customers as well, although they will levy a 9% tax. Additionally, both groups of buyers receive the same products.
Before opening or scaling, we think you should have the aforementioned Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place. However, don’t forget that it’s just as important to enforce these SOPs as it is to put them into place. Leveraging cutting-edge technology to your advantage will enable you to provide cannabis dispensary training that is compliant, organized, and efficient!