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Cannabis Laws in Maryland
As you might already know, there is a list of regulations and procedures to enter the medical cannabis industry in Maryland. In this article, we will walk you through cannabis laws in Maryland you need to follow to open and operate as a fully compliant medical retailer establishment.
You’ve probably heard of The Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission. It’s an independent commission in Maryland that operates within the Department and develops policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and lawful manner.
Dispensary License (effective since May 2020)
One of the first steps of opening a medical retail establishment is to get a license. A dispensary is licensed by the Commission. Dispensary licensees are to cover the following procedures:
- Pay an application fee in an amount defined by the Commission;
- Submit the legal name, and physical address of the dispensary;
- Submit the name, address, and date of birth of each principal officer (a board member of a marijuana business establishment applicant or licensed marijuana business establishment) and director (none of whom may have served as a principal officer or director that have had its license revoked);
- Provide the List of the procedures the dispensary will carry out including storage of cannabis products only in enclosed and locked facilities.
Besides covering a licensing process and being compliant with Maryland cannabis laws, dispensaries must provide additional quarterly reports to the corresponding authorities including states:
- The number of patients served;
- The county of residence of each patient served;
- A patient’s qualifying medical condition;
- A type and amount of medical cannabis dispensed;
- Summary of clinical outcomes, if available.
The quarterly report may not include any information that identifies a patient. In addition, dispensary licensees must also submit annual reporting that includes:
- The number of minority and women dispensary owners;
- The Ownership interest of any minority or women dispensary owners;
- The number of minority and women employees at the dispensary;
- Annual Agent Verification Report;
- Organisation, Ownership and Control Disclosure Report, etc.
A dispensary license is valid for 6 years upon initial registration and is valid for 4 years upon renewal. The Commission is authorized to inspect dispensaries, penalize or invalidate licenses due to non-compliance.
One entity may own and operate or have an ownership interest in up to 4 dispensaries only.
Cannabis laws apply also when it comes to becoming a medical cannabis patient, there is a list of regulations individuals must cover to qualify for it and get an ID card.
A qualifying patient may be a patient of the certified provider’s patient or may be referred to the certified provider. A certified provider must give written certification to the Commission for patients and caregivers registered as qualifying patients or caregivers to receive ID cards.
Qualifying patients or caregivers may obtain cannabis from a licensed medical cannabis grower or a dispensary.
Qualifying patients under the age of 18 may obtain medical cannabis through a certified caregiver or any authorized school personnel. They may have no more than 4 caregivers.
A caregiver may serve no more than 5 qualifying patients at a time. They may provide a student with medical cannabis following dosing, timing, and delivery instructions under a certified provider.
Qualifying patients above 18 may have no more than 2 caregivers at a time.
According to the cannabis laws in Maryland, there are certain limits a qualifying patient is to take in mind while purchasing medical cannabis.
A qualifying patient may purchase initially 120 grams of usable marijuana as dried flower or 36 grams of THC product. A provider may certify a patient for more or less than the standard amount.
The available purchase amount is calculated on a rolling 30-day cycle, which is not based on the calendar month.
A dispensary agent may be an owner, a member, a volunteer, an officer, or a director of a dispensary and must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years old;
- Be registered with the Commission before working or volunteering for a dispensary;
- Obtain criminal history check records;
- A dispensary must submit a registration card for each dispensary agent;
- A dispensary agent must submit to a drug screening before he/she starts working as a dispensary agent.
All advertisements about medical cannabis products or medical cannabis-related services must be supported by clinical evidence or clinical data including information on side effects or risks medical cannabis can have based on Maryland cannabis laws. Medical cannabis representatives are prohibited to:
- Make false and misleading statements;
- Represent the recreational use of cannabis in advertisements;
- Make advertisements that targets or is attractive to minors including cartoon character, a mascot, or any other depiction;
- Display the use of cannabis including the consumption, smoking, or vaping of cannabis;
- Encourage or promote cannabis for use as an intoxicant or are obscene;
All advertisements have to include statements that the product is for use by a qualifying patient only;
A company website has to employ a neutral age-screening mechanism verifying the user is at least 18 years old. As for Social media and mobile applications, ads must include the information that they can be viewed only by persons from the age of 18 and that medical cannabis is for the use by qualifying patients only.
Any advertisement must not be placed within 500 feet of:
- A substance abuse or treatment facility;
- A primary or secondary school, or a child care center, or a family child care home;
- A playground, recreation centre, library, or a public park.
The regulations provided here have informative character and include no legal advice. Due to constant changes in laws and regulations, the interested entities should seek the latest updates from the legal counsel. However, the information presented here may be quite a helpful guideline for your start-up as a dispensary, or a qualifying patient.
Ensure you meet the listed requirements and regulations and join the excitement of running a cannabis business!