Though medical marijuana has technically been legal since 2013, it was limited to “academic medical centers” that declined to participate in the program. In April, Governor O’Malley signed a new law that will greatly expand medical marijuana in Maryland by 2015. This new law will create more opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to get into the medial marijuana market. However, this is new territory for Maryland; many will find that growing marijuana or opening a dispensary is difficult without professional help. If you’re looking to start a “cannabusiness,” turn to William F. Askinazi of the Cannabis Law & Business.
Over the past few decades, researchers have identified several medical uses for marijuana. Cannabis has been shown to successfully reduce pain, nausea, and sleeplessness. Furthermore, 23 states currently have medical marijuana laws on the books, including Maryland. Washington DC also has legal medical marijuana.
Only patients who suffer from specific conditions or symptoms—including nausea, seizures, and anorexia, among others—may receive medical marijuana. These individuals must first be examined by state-approved physicians and show the proper identification when purchasing marijuana.
Medical marijuana dispensaries must be approved by the state before they can sell marijuana to patients. There aren’t currently any dispensaries open in Maryland, though there could be as many as 100 in a few years. If you wish to open a dispensary by the time the state is ready to grant licenses in 2015, you should consider getting started with the legal process now.
To keep up with the demand for medical marijuana, Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Commission will grant 15 licenses to growers within the first year. After the first year, it’s up to the commission to decide whether they will grant more licenses. Each grower must submit to a thorough background check before being granted a license.
If should be noted that it is still illegal for Maryland companies to conduct business with cannabis-related enterprises. Also, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, which may cause some friction between Maryland law and federal law in the future. An experienced medical marijuana attorney can help you further understand Maryland’s medical marijuana laws and represent your interests in court if necessary.
William F. Askinazi has over a decade of experience with matters related to medical marijuana and criminal law and will gladly provide you with legal assistance regarding your medical marijuana business. If you have any questions about how to get started, call Cannabis Law & Business of Potomac at (301) 540-5380.