Maryland turned cannabis into a potential billion-dollar business after sales boomed
Maryland has joined the growing list of states that have legalized recreational cannabis, and the results are impressive. In just one week, the state raked in more than $20.9 million in sales, with half of that coming from recreational users. This is not only good news for the cannabis industry, but also for the communities that have suffered from the war on drugs. A 9 percent tax on recreational sales will go to a fund that aims to repair the damage done by cannabis prohibition, such as investing in education, health care, and social justice. This is a commendable initiative that other states should follow.
But Maryland is not stopping there. The state has a vision to make cannabis a billion-dollar industry by 2025, and to ensure that the benefits are shared by those who have been marginalized by the drug war. Starting in 2024, the state will issue licenses to social equity applicants, who are people who live in areas or have personal experience with the harms of cannabis prohibition. This will create opportunities for entrepreneurship and economic empowerment for those who need it most.
Maryland’s approach to cannabis legalization is a model for other states to emulate. It shows that cannabis can be a source of revenue, job creation, and social justice, if done right. It also shows that the public is ready to embrace cannabis as a legal and safe substance, and to end the stigma and criminalization that have plagued it for decades. Maryland has made history with its cannabis legalization, and we hope to see more states follow its lead.