"We’re grateful to Maryland’s legislative leaders for prioritizing cannabis legalization and are encouraged by the amendments made in House Judiciary to expand legalized conduct," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"Access to capital is absolutely one of the biggest barriers to entry and barriers to success for minorities and women in the cannabis business," said Tahir Johnson, MPP's social equity and inclusion director.
"While we’re encouraged that the New Hampshire House of Representatives has vote to legalize cannabis for the fourth time, HB 1598 includes a poison pill and needs significant revision. To end its status as an island of prohibition, New Hampshire needs a legalization law that actually works—not one that is federally preempted because it relies on state employees selling cannabis in violation of federal law," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"Those are police interactions and citations for cannabis, which can be traumatic, are disproportionately targeted to people of color, and at their worst can be deadly for people of color," said Olivia Naugle, MPP's senior policy analyst.
"Adults would not be able to legally possess cannabis until July of 2023, which will be eight months after voters would approve it. This delay would mean thousands of Marylanders, disproportionately Black Marylanders, would continue to be subjected to police interactions and citations," said Olivia Naugle, MPP's senior policy analyst.
In an op-ed featured in Maryland Matters, Toi Hutchinson, MPP's President and CEO, highlights the importance of ensuring Maryland's potential legalization referendum be self-executing, meaning it would legalize possession for adults 21 and older immediately upon voter approval.
"A lack of access to banking is a constant obstacle for state-legal cannabis businesses across the country and hinders social equity efforts. The reality is that states are going to continue to move forward with legalizing cannabis. We at the Marijuana Policy Project are delighted that Congress is beginning to recognize that they can no longer ignore this issue," said Toi Hutchinson, MPP's President and CEO.
"Karen O’Keefe, the director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to legalizing cannabis, predicted that as many as six new states could have medical marijuana laws by the end of the year."
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an American competitiveness bill Friday that includes legislation that would enable banks to serve cannabis businesses without fear of reprisal, but it’s unclear whether the measure will pass the full Congress.