It has only been a few months since Maryland has widened the range in which medical marijuana will become available. They were the next in line to join the now 29 states that have made the drug medically legal. Despite local pushback from physicians and politicians, the first medical marijuana dispensary has been officially approved.
Even though the dispensary is set to open, medical marijuana will still not be available for a few more months. This does, however, give potential patients time to get their documents in order. In fact, there is already a list of people who have showed interest in becoming a patient. All though there has been interested, it didn’t come easily.
Studies show, according to The Baltimore Sun, less than 2% of the state’s medical physicians would actually prescribe the drug. While Maryland isn’t a large state, that is still a huge deficiency. This is only one part of the uphill battle that patients are facing. There is also push back among residents of Baltimore County. This was made evident when the vote to allow the dispensary was pushed back multiple times.
Eventually, the permits needed for selling medical marijuana were approved which was a major win for the marijuana community. The state has signed a permit that will only allow up to 15 growers and distributors at a time. This means that dispensaries now have little time left to guarantee them a spot in this growing market. The deadline to file and be approved is August 25th.
While this dispensary is the first of its kind for the state, there are hopes that more businesses will follow suit.
Patrick Jameson, the commission’s executive director was quoted saying, “The clock is ticking”.
The permit was unclear about whether or not more dispensaries could file after the deadline. This leaves the community with a sense of urgency.
The biggest concern that potential growers have is whether or not dispensaries are being selected fairly. With so few slots, people are wondering how many will be awarded to bigger firms rather than grass root start ups.
One thing is clear; the marijuana business can be a huge money maker for the state of Maryland as long as it is done right. There are even talks of allowing different forms of caretaking like marijuana delivery. With the first dispensary officially opening, the future in Baltimore looks green.