Medical Marijuana Regulations
Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Maryland for more than 20 years, but it was only in 2014 that regulations were passed to make medical marijuana more accessible to patients, who are now protected under state law to use cannabis as a treatment for chronic or debilitating illnesses. Because regulations for medical marijuana are so new, navigating the system for distribution may be a challenge for patients, growers, dispensers, and physicians alike. The Medical Cannabis Law Group in Maryland works to advocate for the laws surrounding medical marijuana use in the state while protecting the rights of those who prescribe, distribute, and use it. Read on to learn more about medical marijuana regulations that may affect you as a business owner, medical patient, or healthcare professional.
Personal Medical Marijuana Use
In Maryland, you must meet a certain set of criteria to qualify for a medical marijuana prescription. In addition to proving your residency in the state, you must demonstrate a medical need for the prescription, which will generally be defined as having a chronic or debilitating condition, such as seizures, nausea, chronic pain, or muscle spasms. Written certification of your condition and need for medical marijuana are required upon submission of your application for a medical marijuana card through the Medical Marijuana Commission and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Once you have obtained a card, you will be able to purchase medical marijuana from state dispensaries and use the product in the privacy of your home. Growing your own marijuana and using the product in public areas are not permitted under state laws.
Medical Marijuana Businesses
On the business end of medical marijuana, laws and regulations become a bit more complex, as there are strict licensing and inspection requirements that must be met to operate businesses in this area. Here’s a closer look at the legal concerns for those involved in cannabis related business.
- Physicians – Physicians must be licensed in the state of Maryland to prescribe medical marijuana to qualifying patients. Aside from that simple qualification, physicians only need to submit prescription proposals to the state Medical Marijuana Commission, which has the ultimate authority to approve or deny these requests.
- Growers, dispensaries, and processors – After completing the licensing process with the state, growers, dispensaries, and processors must navigate a number of hurdles in choosing a physical location with regard to zoning regulations, following changing regulations and laws, and facing the possibility of citations.
If you are considering starting a cannabis related business in Maryland or you are seeking legal representation for an existing licensed dispensary, grower, or processing operation, call Medical Cannabis Law Group at (301) 251-9660.