Governor Moore Reinforces Commitment to Promoting Social Equity and Restorative Justice as Adult Recreational Use Cannabis Market Set to Go Live July 1

Published: 6/26/2023

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Wes Moore today addressed the Cannabis Regulators Association’s annual conference in Annapolis, where he reinforced the state’s commitment to promoting social equity and restorative justice in advance of the new adult recreational use cannabis market set to go live on July 1. The conference included 200 state regulators, advocacy organizations, and industry stakeholders. 

“In the past, cannabis policy has been used as a cudgel to oppress, jail, and discriminate against our fellow citizens, especially people of color; and the war on drugs didn’t just fail, it made us weaker as a nation,” said Gov. Moore. “But now, we are writing a new chapter in the story of cannabis in America—a chapter focused on equity and economic growth. It’s time we moved away from this false choice that says we must pick an economy that is equitable or an economy that is growing—we can, and we will, do both.”


During the 2023 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Cannabis Reform Act, which legalized adult-use cannabis use effective July 1. On May 3, Governor Moore signed the act into law, which also established the Office of Social Equity. The Office of Social Equity will promote inclusion, accountability, and fairness for businesses to enter, compete, and succeed in the adult-use cannabis market.

Equity is central to the Cannabis Reform Act and is a key pillar of the Moore-Miller administration’s efforts in cannabis legalization. To support implementation, the legislature also created the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund, which directs funding to communities most harmed by the war on drugs. The first round of licensing will be available exclusively to social equity applicants. The legislature also created the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund, which will assist social equity applicants and licensees.

The Cannabis Regulators Association fosters collaboration and coordination to identify and share best practices that safeguard public health and consumer safety, promote equity, and create regulatory certainty for industry participants. All states in the United States—with the exception of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina—are association members.

On July 1, Maryland will become the 25th state or U.S. territory in the country to legalize adult-use cannabis use.

For more information about adult recreational cannabis use, visit

For more information about responsible adult recreational cannabis use, visit