MARYLAND INDUSTRY PREPS FOR LEGAL WEED: Along a flat road in rural Cecil County, where the sky is big and the towns are small, stands a long, nondescript building. Inside is one of the most important cultivation and processing operations for Maryland’s new cash crop — cannabis. SunMed Growers and its 150 employees are harvesting, testing and packaging as many products as they can in preparation for Saturday, July 1, when any individual 21 or older will be able to buy vapes, gummies, pre-rolled joints, edibles and more from about 100 dispensaries statewide. Giacomo Bologna/The Baltimore Sun.
HOWARD CONSIDERS BILL TO ADDRESS POT ISSUES: As officials across the state prepare for recreational marijuana to become legal on July 1, Howard County member Opel Jones has introduced two bills proposing establishment of a cannabis work group to examine short-term issues, and a cannabis advisory panel, to help with longer-term issues for the local adult-use cannabis market. Sherry Greenfield/Baltimore Sun Media.
300+ NEW LAWS SET TO TAKE EFFECT SATURDAY: Over 300 laws are set to go into effect Saturday — the same day that cannabis will be legalized for adult recreational use. Here’s a look at a few other new laws that begin Saturday, including tax cuts for veterans. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
MOORE DOUBLES DOWN ON PROTECTING ABORTION CARE: Gov. Wes Moore marked the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade being overturned by visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic and pledging to keep the state a safe haven for abortion care. “The forces that are actively working to roll back rights, they are busy now. … The thing we are really standing in unison and saying is: Not in Maryland,” the Democratic governor said after touring the Annapolis clinic on Friday. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
NONPROFIT BLASTS MSDE OVER FUNDING SWITCH: The Maryland State Department of Education told a nonprofit child care network last week that the department would take control of $9.4 million in state and federal funding, then abruptly reversed course days later. The Maryland Family Network, which has managed grant programs that serve child care centers since 1989, was notified Tuesday that the department would distribute funding directly to the centers beginning in July, bypassing the nonprofit. The nonprofit slammed the sudden shift in a letter delivered Wednesday to the state’s top leadership. Lillian Reed and Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Banner.
OPINION: CHOUDHURY REMAINS RIGHT CHOICE FOR SUPERINTENDENT: When deciding whether Maryland schools Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury should stay or go, first consider who is the opposition: An anonymous group that identifies itself as a “parents organization” in Carroll County, conservative anti-public education media outlets, former midlevel state education staffer Robert Eccles and former Baltimore City school board member Kalman Hettleman are in the against side. Owen Silverman Andrews/The Baltimore Banner.
MARYLAND TO LAUNCH PROGRAM TO UP MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH SCORES: Maryland leaders are taking steps toward solutions after a national education report shed light on declining middle school math scores. The state has launched a Tutoring Corps Grant Program to help address the issue. The program has been in the works for some time and just happened to go public shortly after those disturbing numbers were revealed. Tim Tooten/WBAL-TV-News.
ARUNDEL SCHOOL BOARD COULD BAN PRIDE, OTHER FLAGS: The Anne Arundel County Board of Education is weighing a proposal that would limit the number of flags that could be displayed on school property, a move that would effectively ban the LGBTQ pride flag from being displayed on campuses. The proposed flag policy is scheduled to be discussed during the board’s Monday meeting. John-John Williams/The Baltimore Banner.
MOORE TO CONTINUE HOGAN I-270/BELTWAY PROJECT: Under Gov. Wes Moore’s (D) new administration, the Interstate 270 and Capital Beltway expansion project, dubbed Op Lanes Maryland, will continue to be planned for the region. The project, a priority of former Gov. Larry Hogan (R), focuses on improving traffic congestion and delivering a new American Legion Bridge. Elia Griffin/MoCo360.
MARYLAND JOINS OTHER STATES TO PROTECT TRANSGENDER HEALTH CARE: Democratic governors and state lawmakers across the country – including in Maryland – are mobilizing against a surge of Republican restrictions on transgender health care by establishing their states as sanctuaries for gender-affirming care. Earlier this month, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore signed an executive order making Maryland the 11th state, plus the District of Columbia, to declare itself a sanctuary. Amanda Hernandez/Maryland Matters.
LT. GOV. MILLER ATTENDS WHITE HOUSE DINNER FOR MODI: Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, who is of Indian descent, was a guest at the lavish White House dinner thrown by President Joe Biden for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday night. Darlene Superville and Fatima Hussein of the Associated Press/The Baltimore Sun.
FIVE YEARS SINCE GUNMAN ATTACKED CAPITAL GAZETTE: Wednesday will mark five years since a man armed with a shotgun and a grievance fired his way into the Annapolis newsroom of the Capital Gazette, fatally shooting five of photographer Paul Gillespie’s co-workers: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. Gillespie was one of six people in the office that day to survive the mass shooting, fleeing from beneath his desk during a lull in gunfire, narrowly avoiding a blast of buckshot as he escaped. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.
HOGAN SAYS DeSANTIS’ CAMPAIGN ‘WORST I’VE SEEN:’ Former Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, takes a dim view of the Republican governor from the Sunshine State and his bid for president.“I think [Ron] DeSantis has really underperformed,” Hogan said in last week’s episode of Major Garrett’s “The Takeout.” “I think the [DeSantis] campaign is one of the worst I’ve seen so far, and he’s dropped like a rock,” Hogan said. “I think it’s getting close to being over.” CBS News/WTOP-FM.