Proposals to raise Maryland’s minimum wage and legalize recreational marijuana use will come up during the next General Assembly, lawmakers said Tuesday.
Local businesspeople asked members of Washington County’s delegation about those issues during Tuesday morning’s prelegislative forum, sponsored by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce at Hager Hall in Hagerstown. About 60 people were registered for the event.
Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, and Dels. Paul Corderman, R-Washington; Mike McKay, R-Washington/Allegany; Neil Parrott, R-Washington; and William Wivell, R-Washington, each spoke before fielding questions.
Don Bowman of The Bowman Group asked if there would be another attempt to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. Currently, Maryland’s minimum wage is $10.10. The minimum is $8.75 in West Virginia and $7.25 in Pennsylvania, the same as the U.S. minimum.
“Fifteen dollars an hour is on the table,” Parrott said.
He said raising the minimum wage that much would be “a huge detriment” to business and economic development.
David Kloos, president of Kind Therapeutics, asked about recreational marijuana. Kind operates a medical cannabis growing and processing operation in Hagerstown.
Medical marijuana is not taxed, he said, but recreational marijuana could be a source of revenue for the state.