By Ashley Ellixson
Senate Bill 923 and House Bill 881, also known as Medical Marijuana bills, were signed into law by Governor O’Malley on April 14, 2014. These bills initiated significant changes to the medical marijuana program being implemented by the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission. On November 13, 2014, the Commission unanimously adopted its proposed regulations. The regulations cover items such as:
· Qualifying ailments and diseases which would qualify for medicinal marijuana
· Licensing fees for growers and dispensaries
· Application processes for patients, caregivers, physicians, and other medical personnel
· Marijuana extracts
· Security for growing facilities and dispensaries
The commission’s chairman, Dr. Paul Davies believes the commission will begin taking applications for growers and dispensaries in mid-2015, with production expected during the summer of 2016. Some notable areas in the regulations include, but are not limited to:
· A separate license for marijuana extract which can be added to foods and drinks, applied to skin, or ingested orally under the tongue when introduced to solutions made of alcohol, glycerin, or vegetable oils.
· A 30-day supply per patient, of up to 120 grams.
· Proposed biennial licensing fee for growers of $250,000, which can be paid in $125,000 annual installments. and biennial fee for dispensary licenses of $80,000, which can be paid in $40,000 installments.
The proposed fees have received a lot of criticism. The Maryland fees would be the second most expensive in the country behind Illinois. The Commission would operate under the fees generated from the program. The regulations do not specify a limit on how many plants a grower may grow or the amount of marijuana a dispensary may hold at a time.
The public comment period has not been released; however all documents, including the regulations and updates are available at:
Please keep checking for updates on the blog concerning when the comment period begins and how to go about commenting.