The legislature is currently considering HB 2, a bill that would provide for more growing and processing licenses to be awarded with the intention to boost minority-owned businesses in the state. HB 881, the law that established the medical marijuana program, encourages minority-owned business participation; a Disparity Analysis published by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission outlines the ways in which this goal was not met.

Maryland Cannabis Law History

After it nearly unanimously passed the Senate and was voted in favor of by the House of Delegates, a bill that effectively legalized the use of medical marijuana and called for a state-run program to regulate it was signed by Governor Martin O’Malley in May 2013. The bill created the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee the licensing of medical marijuana facilities, as well as provide information and guidance to patients, caregivers, and physicians.

The medical marijuana program struggled for several years to get off of the ground, but it finally became operational in the final weeks of 2017.

Qualifying Conditions

Certified physicians may only recommend medical marijuana for the following conditions:

  • Cachexia
  • Anorexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • Glaucoma,
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic pain

Key Dates

The deadline for the second round of grower and processor license applications was in August 2017. The deadline for the second ground of dispensary license applications was in December of 2017.

Dates for another round of grower and processor license applications are to be determined.

Application Fees/Start-up Costs

There was a $4,000 application fee for all three types of licenses. Licensing fees are collected every two years in the following amounts:

  • Grower: $125,000
  • Processor: $80,000
  • Dispensary: $80,000

License types

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded three (3) different types of licenses: Growing, Processing, and Dispensing. Vertical integration was permitted, but not required, as applicants had the ability to apply for each of the three types.

A total of 1081 applications were submitted to the Commission:

  • 811 dispensary (102 approved)
  • 146 cultivating (15 approved)
  • 124 processing (15 approved)

       Photo by Flickr user Owenusa