Maryland’s medical marijuana program was approved by lawmakers in 2013. The program is not operational yet, and zero patient applications have been accepted thus far. The program is being overseen by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission which has been receiving criticism from patients and aspiring medical marijuana businesses. Medical marijuana advocates are upset by the commission’s slow pace in getting medical marijuana to the patients that need it.
In this guide we will go through the basics of how you can qualify for medical marijuana in Maryland, what to expect and the future of MD dispensaries.
How do you apply for a medical cannabis card in Maryland?
On the commission’s website, a patient will need to register by providing their name, address, date of birth, and uploading an image of a government ID. After this, a patient will visit a doctor who is registered with the Commission to obtain their “written certification.”
Who qualifies for the Maryland Medical Marijuana Program?
To qualify for a medical marijuana card in MD, you’re going to need to have one of the approved qualifying medical conditions. The conditions that qualify are:
- Chronic Pain
- Severe or persistent muscle spams
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
Maryland has a medium length list of qualifying medical conditions but even those suffering from all these conditions have yet to receive the medicine they can legally possess 3 years after the laws passing.
Can qualifying conditions be added to the list?
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission may add severe and debilitating medical conditions to the list of qualifying ailments at any point in time.
Where can you find a medical marijuana doctor in Maryland?
Any licensed physician in good standing in MD can register with the Medical Cannabis Commission to issue certifications to qualify patients to obtain and use medical marijuana. You should ask your doctor if he or she is registered and discuss if you would benefit from medical cannabis.
Where are the dispensaries in MD?
Unfortunately, the state’s medical marijuana commission has yet to approve a single grower let alone a dispensing facility. The state’s medical marijuana law only allows for 15 dispensaries within state boundaries and the commission has received over 1,000 applications. The state is working on accepting it’s first state-licensed growers shortly. Since cannabis takes time to cultivate and distribute, the earliest Maryland patients will be able to purchase from state-licensed dispensaries in the summer of 2017.
What can my medical card get me at a Maryland dispensary?
When the MD dispensaries become operational, you will be able to get up to 4 ounces of marijuana. Foods are not on the list of available marijuana products but when dispensary doors open, oils and tinctures should be available to be used to make edibles legally at home.
Are Maryland patients shielded from discrimination?
“Maryland law does not prevent an employer from testing for use of cannabis (for any reason) or taking action against an employee who tests positive for use of cannabis (for any reason)” – Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
The future of Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Program
First, the state’s medical cannabis commission will need to approve grower applications; then doctors will need to register with the program before patient applications can begin to be processed. Maryland medical marijuana patients should be expecting to be able to go home with legal cannabis by mid to late 2017.