Lt. Governor weighs in on Adult Use MJ, Minimum Wage push in final days of General Assembly session

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MARYLAND – Maryland Lueitant Governor Aruna Miller is weighing in on the final days of the legislative session, and defending measures the administration has pushed.

Adult Use Marijuana

The bill would create licensing and tax rates to open a recreational marijuana market on July 1st, Existing medical cannabis dispensaries will be able to buy a special license to sell both their existing products and recreational marijuana.

There will be additional licenses available with priority given to minority business owners, a consideration Lt. Governor Miller tells 47ABC is extremely important to their administration.

“Social equity as part of this legislation is a big part of it, when Maryland first passed medical Marijuana every one of the licenses went to nonminority communities, this time there is going to be a priority to make sure it goes to small business owners minority owner,” Lieutenant Governor Miller said.

The Lt. Governor also stressed that 30 percent of generated revenue will help communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

According to the Associated Press, the current hurdle for the passage of the measure is the differences between the House and Senate taxation rates.

The House measure would impose a 6 percent tax rate in the next fiscal year going up one percent per year until it hits 10 percent.
however, the Senate bill puts the tax at 9 percent.

Medical marijuana would remain untaxed.

15 Dollar Minimum Wage

Lieutenant Governor Miller says the measure could bring a pay raise to 175 thousand people, starting a state-wide minimum wage of 15 dollars on Jan 1st, 2024.  But the business community on the eastern shore has raised the alarm on the move, with the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce saying the measure could hurt small businesses
adding that smaller venues could be put out of business completely with higher wages.

However, Lieutenant Governor Miller says the boost could actually help those businesses retain employees.

“This is 187 million dollars worth of money going right back to consumer spender not to mention that has a big impact higher wages means they are able to retain their employees longer the morale will be stronger and the productivity is going to be better and customer service all go up in the end,” she said.

Lieutenant Governor Miller tells 47ABC the Moore campaign carried itself on its slogan, Leave No Marylander Behind, which she says must include fair wages.

 

 


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