Last month, voters in Maryland and Missouri approved legalizing recreational marijuana in a constitutional amendment. In all, 21 states, including DC, have now approved the recreational use of marijuana.
Maryland’s new legislation states that recreational marijuana will be legal after July 2023 for people 21 years of age and over. The General Assembly, however, left matters of licensing and taxes for lawmakers to decide next year.
In a recent live interview, Dr. Bhodi Tims, Program Director of Cannabis Science Programs at MUIH, reviews the recently approved ballot measure to legalize marijuana in Maryland and the unique aspects of our Cannabis Science Certificate.
What the new legislation does:
- Collects data on poison control calls to prepare for potential adverse side effects to increased recreational use.
- Provides cannabis assistance funds to provide grants, loans, license application, access, and assistance with gaining capital to historically black colleges, and female-owned– owned companies around cannabis programs.
- Defines legal limits of possession. Those 21 and older can possess 1 ½ ounces of cannabis or 12 grams of a cannabis concentrate.
- Creates usage parameters with corresponding fines and penalties. For example, you can’t smoke in public.
- Forms public health advisory councils if there are united health concerns.
- Earmarks funding to benefit low-income communities, and that have been disproportionality harmed by cannabis prohibition.
- Researches home cultivation options for medical use.
Currently, laws do not regulate dispensaries or the actual product development. How it will be grown, manufactured, and distributed has yet to be determined.
There is a large amount of job growth in this industry, and it will increase even more when federal legislation takes place. MUIH is currently preparing its students for new opportunities in the growing fields of dietary and medical use of cannabis by training them to meet the continually growing demand.
According to Dr. Tims, the range of products, from traditional products (tinctures, flower buds, pre-rolls) to high-end artisanal consumer products (solventless extracts, edibles, beverages) to pharmaceutical products, provide a variety of entry points into the industry. The level of innovation, he says, “is exciting and will have a lasting impact on the herbal supplement field.”
Current growing and manufacturing practices produce end products that require extensive testing for heavy metals, residual solvents, pesticides, and adulterants. The growing process also creates unsustainable environmental waste. As the industry matures, consumers and producers will find success in demanding a high-level commitment to the quality of the product and how it’s produced, which is what MUIH programs are committed to.
Click here to watch the interview and learn more.