CannaBuzz: Maryland Senate committee greenlights cannabis bills

By Van Smith

Baltimore, March 5, 2019

The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (JPC) yesterday gave thumbs up to three cannabis bills, while the first Maryland House of Delegates-approved cannabis bill of the General Assembly session – to add more licensed professionals who can certify medical-cannabis patients, which passed overwhelmingly, 122-14, on Feb. 15 – awaits its consideration.

Senate Bill 97 seeks to prevent licensed gun-owners from losing Second Amendment rights should they join Maryland’s medical-cannabis program. The JPC gave it unanimous approval, with bipartisan sponsorship by members Michael Hough (R-District 4, Carroll and Frederick counties), Justin Ready (R-District 5, Carroll County), Chris West (R-District 42, Baltimore County), and chair Bobby Zirkin (D-District 11, Baltimore County).

Senate Bill 858 aims to boost cannabis-related academic research by providing access to medical cannabis to licensed researchers. Sponsored by JPC chair Zirkin, it too received unanimous committee approval.

Senate Bill 860 would resolve a nettlesome matter for the state’s corrections community – both inmates and officials – by establishing that certified medical-cannabis patients’ supervision, probation, or parole can’t be revoked for lawful use of medical cannabis.

All three JPC-approved bills next go to Senate floor vote.

The JPC also yesterday gave thumbs down to two bills: Senate Bill 86, which sought to assure that possession of weed, medical or not, stays illegal in correctional settings, including for offenders still on probation; and Senate Bill 855, which would have required corrections officials to provide inmates with access to the state’s medical-cannabis program.

 

 

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