What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses
The process of allowing access to medicinal marijuana in Maryland is slowly moving forward. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission accepted applications for licenses for cultivators, processors, and dispensaries up until November 6, 2015. Although you should have already submitted your application if you are interested in growing marijuana , you may still have questions about cultivation licenses. Consider seeking legal counseling to find out about all the latest updates.
Application and License Fees
All individuals and entities interested in growing marijuana in Maryland should have submitted the required fees along with their applications. The first stage application fee for a prospective marijuana grower is $2,000. All application fees are non-refundable and must be remitted in the form of a money order or cashier’s check.
Amendments to Submitted Applications
For the most part, it is not possible to amend a cultivation license application that you have already submitted. You may only update information regarding managers, owners, and similar individuals and entities as specified by the Commission’s regulations.
Application Approval Process
Medical cannabis regulation in Maryland provides for the approval of a maximum of 15 cultivators’ licenses. It is left to the discretion of the Commission whether to issue fewer than 15 licenses. Now that the submission deadline has passed, an independent review team is already evaluating applications. The team will rank the applications and send the ranking along with a report to the Commission. Then, the Commission will vote on pre-approving the applications.
If your application has been pre-approved, it does not mean that you have a cultivator’s license. You must still obtain zoning and planning approval, begin construction on the location, hire staff, and initiate training procedures. Once your facility is complete, it must pass an inspection. The Commission will also determine whether your facility and production process fulfill the terms of your application and the legal regulations. If so, you may be granted a license to grow medicinal marijuana. You must still take steps to ensure that your cannabis business remains in compliance with all regulations. Otherwise, your license may be rescinded.
Tips for Setting Up a Successful Cannabis Business
A successful business in the medical cannabis industry requires an exhaustive planning process. The most effective way to plan for long-term success is to seek legal counseling in Maryland. Meet with attorneys who provide consulting services to legal marijuana businesses to find out what you need to do to obtain all the necessary permits and licenses. After your medical cannabis service opens its doors for business, you’ll still need ongoing legal guidance, since cannabis regulations continue to evolve.
When setting up your business, it’s important to know where your strengths lie. If you have a background in horticulture and a green thumb, then you may do well as a grower. If you prefer to be on the front end of the business, you can open a dispensary. Regardless of your choice, you need to have a plan for building a loyal clientele. It is not wise to assume that the popularity of medical marijuana will translate to an automatic customer base. Like any other business, you will have competitors in the medical cannabis industry. To reach your long-term objectives, you’ll need to develop strategies for brand formation, customer care, and customer retention.
Answers to Patients’ Questions About Medical Marijuana Access
Since the passage of medical cannabis regulation in Maryland, many patients with severe medical conditions have looked forward to being able to control their symptoms with legally obtained medical cannabis. However, regulations regarding medical cannabis continue to evolve and local jurisdictions are still hammering out the details. Medicinal marijuana is not yet available in the state and as of November 2015, the timeline for availability has not yet been finalized. However, if you intend to obtain medical marijuana, it’s a good idea to begin learning about the process.
Do I Have a Qualifying Medical Condition?
Only the prescribing physician can determine this. Generally, qualifying medical conditions are those that are severe and have not responded well to other treatments. Additionally, your medical condition must be reasonably expected to benefit from medicinal marijuana. These qualifying conditions include those that are chronic or debilitating, including glaucoma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Qualifying conditions also include those that cause the following problems: Significant loss of appetite, wasting, severe nausea, seizures, severe or chronic pain, or persistent muscle spasms.
Can My Primary Care Physician Issue a Medical Cannabis Card?
Any physician may become qualified to issue a medical cannabis card; it is not necessary to go to a special clinic for an evaluation. You can ask a primary care physician or specialist to register with the Medical Cannabis Commission . Doctors can register if they are licensed in Maryland.
What Is the Process for Legally Obtaining Access?
First, you should talk to your doctor to determine whether medical marijuana might help your medical condition. Then, you can register as a patient on the website of the Medical Cannabis Commission. You will need to upload an image of a valid government ID. After you’ve registered, a registered doctor can provide a written certification, which the doctor will record on the Commission’s website. In order to provide patients with a written certification, there must be a bona fide doctor-patient relationship. This means that the prescribing doctor must have examined you, assessed your medical history and medical records, and provided for any necessary follow-up care.
A Timeline of Medical Marijuana Laws in Maryland [INFOGRAPHIC]
Marijuana laws in Maryland have evolved over the last few years, with the state becoming the 21 st in the nation to have a medical marijuana program. In the past, medical marijuana users could prove medical necessity to prevent being convicted for possession of an ounce or less. However, access to medical marijuana was still not addressed. In 2014, then-Governor Martin O’Malley signed a bill into law that replaced criminal penalties with civil fines for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. Changes are once again afoot in Maryland, with current laws stating that individuals no longer need to be part of a medical research program to have access to medical marijuana, and can possess a 30-day supply. Check out this infographic to learn more about cannabis laws in Maryland. Please share with your friends and family.
Medical Marijuana Zoning in Baltimore County
Cannabis laws in Maryland have undergone a significant overhaul in recent years. The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes raises new questions for local officials. In Baltimore County, officials decided to take a proactive approach toward marijuana legalization . Councilwoman Vicki Almond of Baltimore County recently spearheaded the effort to implement zoning regulations for medical cannabis.
You can hear about this new legal marijuana regulation by watching this brief news clip. You’ll hear Councilwoman Almond discuss why she thought zoning would be a good idea for growers, manufacturers, and dispensary owners, along with their neighbors. You’ll also learn about the new zoning requirements, including how the potential locations for growing and manufacturing facilities will differ from the acceptable locations for dispensaries.