Maryland has taken a step forward in its efforts to create the infrastructure for its medical marijuana program. The Wellness Institute of Maryland was awarded a license to sell the plant, becoming the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary. The flip side is that there is currently no stock to sell and most likely won’t be until sometime between Labor Day and Halloween. Until then, the dispensary is taking pre-orders by phone or online. The company even asked WBAL TV 11 News not to reveal its location due to security concerns since it is the only official dispensary.
The Rules of Maryland’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary
The dispensary will have medical marijuana available as a lotion, oil, pill, transdermal patch and vaporizable forms. A home delivery service will also be made available. There are many in the state who have been patiently awaiting the time for when they can purchase the medicinal plant. In fact, 9,000 patients have already been registered as medical marijuana patients. There are currently less than 300 doctors in the state, who have signed up to be able to recommend medical marijuana to patients. A doctor’s office will be located in the dispensary as well so that patients can be diagnosed and registered as patients directly from the clinic. Walk-in patients, however, won’t be allowed. It will function by appointment only so that the dispensary can operate in the most efficient way possible.
How Maryland’s Licensing Program Works
The state distributed 15 preliminary growing and 15 preliminary processing licenses a year ago. If those companies are not awarded their final official licenses by August 15th, they may have their right to work in Maryland revoked by the commission. So far, only 1 company has been authorized to grow the plant and the commission has delayed the vote for a second company to join them. The clock is ticking for the other companies who are currently at risk of partaking in Maryland’s medical marijuana industry if the commission does not approve them soon.
The Future of License Approval
Patrick Jameson, the commission’s executive director, has stated that the commission will be more diligent in meeting over the coming weeks in order to officially approve the growing and producing licenses. But each company will need to go through a stage inspection before the final licenses will be awarded. The commission has also picked 102 companies that will be able to open dispensaries across the state. They are not subject to the August 15th deadline, however, so there is more time left to explore and inspect each of those companies.
Maryland’s medical marijuana industry so far has been wrought with controversy. 2 lawsuits are currently in progress regarding how the state has chosen to pick the recipients of licenses. There are questions regarding whether or not minority owned companies are receiving the same chances. There is still a lot to sort through before the state has a functional industry but progress is happening bit by bit. The coming weeks will reveal a lot as the final licenses are distributed and the first batch of medical marijuana becomes available for use in the state.