Baltimore County developing framework for Recreational Cannabis
TOWSON - Recreational marijuana will be legal in Maryland come July 1, and Baltimore County is developing the systems that will make that work.
"Just catching up to where the state is so that the facilities here in Baltimore County can in fact take advantage, if they're eligible for the state licenses, to sell recreational cannabis," said Baltimore County board chair Julian Jones Jr.
That means updating the county's existing Medical Cannabis Act to also apply to recreational sales.
The bill amends those existing provisions in the county code, and zoning regulations.
"We currently regulate medical cannabis and what we're doing now is just basically removing the medical terminology from the current code and zoning regulations and just labeling it, 'cannabis,'" said director of Permits, Approvals and Inspections Pete Guwald.
As for permitted areas in the county, those will remain largely the same. Cannabis dispensaries will not be able to open within 500 feet of schools or daycares.
But in order to reflect new state regulations, the 2,500-feet required distance between dispensaries will be knocked down to 1,000 feet.
Councilmembers said a lot of questions remain.
"Medical was different, and now we're moving into recreational, and it seems like the state at least is moving at a pace we might not necessarily be ready for on the local level on a few different matters," said board member Todd Crandell.
The final reading and vote on the bill will happen June 5.