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Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 13, 2024

From the Offices of Councilmembers Kristin Mink, Will Jawando and Laurie-Anne Sayles

On Tuesday, Montgomery County Councilmembers Kristin Mink, Will Jawando and Laurie-Anne Sayles introduced Bill 4-24, the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund Commission – Established. The bill creates a 13-member commission drawn from impacted communities and service providers to advise on the allocation of revenue from the State of Maryland’s fund of the same name as established by House Bill 837 in 2022.

Under state law, 35 percent of cannabis excise tax revenues are reserved solely for the purpose of localities to invest in new programming targeted at making reparations to communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition prior to the legalization of cannabis for adult use in 2023. The legislation is cosponsored by Council President Andrew Friedson, Vice President Kate Stewart, and Councilmembers Sidney Katz, Natali Fani-Gonzalez, Gabe Albornoz and Evan Glass.

“When we scratch below the surface of the so-called ‘war on drugs,’ we find it was primarily a war on drug users, their families and their communities,” said Councilmember Mink (District 5). “As policymakers, one of the most difficult tasks for us can be recognizing the harm of past policies, acknowledging that harm and repairing the harm among those impacted by our decisions. This legislation is an opportunity to do that.”

“I thank Comptroller Brooke Lierman and our state partners for their dedication to investing cannabis revenue in our local economy,” Councilmember Sayles said. “The creation of this commission is a significant move toward aiding low-income communities and areas that are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. These resources will assist in reducing recidivism rates and providing opportunities for people to build a better future.”

“I am pleased to be a co-lead sponsor of this important bill with Councilmembers Mink and Sayles, and I appreciate the support from other Councilmembers,” said Councilmember Jawando. “For families who have been impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of failed drug policies, there is much reinvestment and repair work that is needed. This legislation will help move our County forward toward that repair.”

“The purpose of this bill is to invest directly into the communities that have been most impacted by the war on drugs,” said Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, co-executive director of Racial Justice NOW. “This is a beginning step for Montgomery County to pursue a broader reparation policy.”

The fund is expected to receive approximately $1 million in its first year, based on data from the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, which is the first quarter of recreational adult sales of cannabis. Bill 4-24 adopts a similar community-based advisory body model as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. A public hearing for Bill 4-24 is scheduled for March 5 at 1:30 p.m.

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Release ID: 24-058
Media Contact: Chris Wilhelm 301-706-7843
Categories: Kristin Mink, Laurie-Anne Sayles, Will Jawando