Gaithersburg City Council to Vote on Ordinance That Would Apply Restrictions of Marijuana to Same Restrictions That Now Apply to Smoking

The Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council will hold its record open until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023 (10 days) for a proposed ordinance to amend Chapter 15A of the City Code to apply restrictions to the use of marijuana, including but not limited to the same restrictions that now apply to smoking. Policy Discussion, and possible adoption, will take place on October 2, 2023.  Per the proposed ordinance, “this has become necessary since Maryland State voters in the 2022 elections approved the use of cannabis, including marijuana, in small amounts for more than medical purposes.” More from the proposed ordinance below:

In 2022, The General Assembly approved proposing to the voters of Maryland a constitutional amendment authorizing the public and recreational use of marijuana without a medical need, and the voters approved this amendment in the November 2022 elections. The amendment required the General Assembly to enact legislation authorizing distribution, and in Senate Bill 516, the General Assembly passed the Cannabis Reform Act, which enabled and authorized the use and sale of cannabis, including marijuana, in small amounts for general and recreational use. The legislation also imposed a 9% tax to be shared with municipalities and counties. While the legislation did not impose restrictions on the use of cannabis, it established local authority to restrict public use and establish some distribution zoning requirements. If the City does not impose restrictions on the use of cannabis, such as for the use of tobacco, no such restrictions will be in place at least for uses of small amounts now authorized by state law.

The proposed ordinance would amend Section 15A-1, establishing restrictions in City parks, by adding cannabis and marijuana to the definitions. The proposal would also amend Sections 15A-7 to add cannabis and marijuana to current restrictions on tobacco and controlled substances to sell or distribute and package or transport with the intent to sell or distribute cannabis and marijuana, while Section 15A-8 also specifies that smoking and vaping of cannabis, unlike tobacco, is also prohibited.

Courtesy of the City of Gaithersburg

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