Councilmembers feel ‘under duress’ to create marijuana regulations

Jun 06, 2023

Baltimore County is finalizing its local regulations for recreational cannabis. But some board members felt “under duress” as they complied with state law.

“I have to question the wisdom of just removing medical from the legislation and dumping cannabis, both adult use and medical, together,” said Councilman Todd Crandell.

One major amendment was added Monday — a decision on how close dispensaries can be to one another.

“We do have one amendment to be consistent with the state — changing the distance between dispensaries from 2,500 feet to 1,000 feet,” said Director of Permits Pete Guwald.

County attorneys called it an odd situation, as state law says the county cannot be stricter than 1,000 feet, but rather, more lenient.

“I do not like getting rid of this distance requirement but recognize the reality of home rule, and we have to vote for this under duress, I guess,” said Councilman David Marks.

Crandell said he still feels the state is moving too fast without considering all outcomes.

Other members said, flat out, they do not want to see recreational cannabis use happen at all.

“The voters of Maryland voted yes on recreational cannabis. I voted no, but I will vote for this bill,” said Councilman Wade Kach.

“I also voted no but will vote yes for this bill,” said Councilman David Marks.

All seven council members voted yes for the amendment.

Starting July 1, anyone 21 or older can purchase recreational cannabis. Under state law, smoking is prohibited in cars and public places, including parks, streets, sidewalks, bars and restaurants.

You could read more of this NBC News article here.