Legally Growing & Dispensing Medical Marijuana in Maryland
In 2013, Martin O’Malley signed legislation that established a medical marijuana program in Maryland. This began a four-year-long process of sifting through applications of perspective growers and dispensaries, and finding medical practitioners who would be willing to take part in the part in the program. In December 2017, after nearly five years of delays, the Maryland medical marijuana program official opened for business. At that time, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) had authorized 14 growers, 12 processors and nine dispensaries; more than 550 health-care providers were registered to certify patients as eligible for medical marijuana; and more than 8,500 patients were certified by MMCC to buy medical marijuana.
At the end of its first year, the Maryland medical marijuana program brought in more than $95 million dollars in dispensary sales. It’s small pool of registered dispensaries grew from 14 to 71 between December 2017 and November 2018 (as of July 2019, there are more than 80 licensed dispensaries). Additionally, by the end of 2018 over 1,000 health-care providers had signed up to prescribe medical marijuana and the number of certified patients jumped from 8,500 to more than 50,000.
But what does it take to get in on this booming new industry in Maryland? How does one apply to legally grow and dispense medical-grade marijuana? We at Ferrante, Dill and Hisle LLC got curious, so we looked into the laws and regulations surrounding Maryland’s medical marijuana program. Read on to learn more!
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
The MMCC works to ensure the safety of medical marijuana patients in the state of Maryland, developing policies, procedures and regulations of programs that help to bring medical marijuana to qualifying patients. The MMCC oversees licensing, registration, inspection and testing that pertains to medical marijuana. Additionally, they are the definitive resource for patients of the program, as well as growers, dispensers and processors.
Growing & Dispensing Legally in Maryland
Currently there is a state-wide cap limiting the number of licensed growers to 22 and licensed processors to 28. Earlier this summer, the MMCC opened up a 60-day application window for prospective growers and processors. The goal of this application period was to award up to four new grower licenses and 10 new processor licenses. The MMCC expects to announce Stage 1 approvals by the end of this summer. All Stage 1-approved growers move on to Stage 2, which includes criminal background investigations, completing regulatory requirements, securing zoning approvals as well as constructing their facilities. The MMCC votes on final licenses at its public meetings once all the requirements of Stage 2 have been satisfied.
Those wishing to apply to be a grower and/or processor must submit the requisite documentation in a timely manner during open application periods. For a full list of these documents as well as information on application periods, check out the MMCC’s website. The MMCC website also has a helpful FAQ for prospective and current growers. Anyone wishing to apply should check out this handy resource to ensure they have everything in order prior to the next open application period.
If you have any questions about the legality of growing and dispensing marijuana in Maryland or find yourself in hot water as the result of CBD/marijuana use, don’t hesitate to reach out. All of us at Ferrante, Dill and Hisle LLC make it a priority to remain cognizant of these ever-changing laws and regulations, all so we can better serve our clients! Give us a call today at (410) 535-6100 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.