Florida-based multistate cannabis operator Trulieve is the main financial supporter of a Maryland ballot campaign that recently launched to advocate for the passage of an adult-use legalization question going before voters this November.
The “Yes on 4” campaign is chaired by former NFL player Eugene Monroe, the founder and CEO of Heart Community Capital, a group of professional athletes, social activists, philanthropists, coaches, creatives and cannabis industry experts working together to help build black-owned cannabis companies.
“Passing Question 4 will put an end to the failed criminalization of cannabis, create a well-regulated legal marijuana market centered around equity, and open up new doors for local entrepreneurs and small business owners,” Monroe said in a public statement. “I hope every Marylander will vote yes on Question 4 this November.”
While Yes on 4 is “powered by Maryland residents who are ready to bring the era of failed marijuana prohibition to an end,” according to the group’s recently launched website, the campaign currently relies on $50,000 in funding from Trulieve, according to election finance filings from Aug. 30, The Washington Post reported.
Trulieve, a vertically integrated company with operations in 11 states, including 120 dispensaries in its home state of Florida, has three medical cannabis retail locations in Maryland.
Maryland is one of six states where voters are hoping to effectuate policy change through adult-use cannabis legalization ballot measures this November.
Maryland’s measure, which will appear as Question 4 on the statewide ballot, is sponsored by state lawmakers (via the passage of House Bill 1) and simply asks voters if the favor the legalization of adult-use cannabis for those 21 and older by July 1, 2023.
Separately, the Maryland General Assembly also passed H.B. 837, companion legislation that defines possession and home-grow limits as well as an avenue to provide automatic expungement for certain cannabis-related convictions.
If approved by voters, the referendum would legalization the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, 12 grams of concentrate, 750 milligrams of delta-9 THC or two plants for personal use. The legislation would also decriminalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces as a civil offense rather than a misdemeanor.
While voter approval of H.B. 1 on the ballot would set in motion certain steps toward implementing a state-legal program, lawmakers wouldn’t decide on more specific parameters, such as licensing and taxes, until next year.
According to Yes on 4 advocates, cannabis legalization is estimated to provide the state with over $135 million in tax revenue annually.