Officials in Anne Arundel County have backed away from trying to impose Maryland’s first local ban on growing and selling medical marijuana before the practice becomes legal in 2016.
At a council meeting on Monday, County Executive Steve Schuh (R) will instead present a measure restricting where cannabis businesses can operate in Annapolis and surrounding communities.
Schuh had said medical marijuana-related businesses would attract crime and drive up recreational use. But he couldn’t muster enough support for an outright prohibition. The state attorney general’s office also questioned whether a ban would be legal.
Schuh’s revised proposal, which has support from a majority of the council, will prevent businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of schools and homes, and prohibit window displays of marijuana.
“While the current state law continues to present challenges, we have come together to propose some of the strictest medical marijuana zoning regulations in Maryland,” Schuh said in a prepared statement.
Maryland regulators are planning to issue licenses to open marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities in the winter, prompting local governments to review where the businesses should go.