Pr. George’s passes rules on dispensaries that conflict with draft law – The Washington Post

Cannabis dispensaries cannot be subject to stricter zoning rules than those for alcohol stores under legislation awaiting the signature of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D).

Lawmakers crafted the measure to protect a nascent recreational industry, developing the proposal as Prince George’s County leaders attempted to limit where new dispensaries may open. On Tuesday, the County Council voted 8-0 to adopt rules some cannabis advocates have described as restrictive, despite the General Assembly’s actions.

Council members have said they are representing the will of constituents in the affluent, majority-Black suburb of D.C. by seeking to keep dispensaries out of highly visible retail corridors. The House bill’s sponsor, Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles), said in an interview Tuesday that efforts to restrict and not support the businesses are “asinine.”

“Counties don’t seem to understand that these are multimillion-dollar investments,” Wilson said. “These businesses need to be allowed to flourish.”

The county’s bill will be effectively moot if Moore signs the state legislation, which a spokesman said he is reviewing.

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