Maryland Medical Marijuana Update
Updated: Jul 9
This post is not be construed as legal advice.
Over the past few weeks I have received questions on the medical marijuana regulations that are expected to be in place this September. If you want to read a quick overview of the proposed regulations, visit my original blog post here.
On August 24, 2015, the Final Action on the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission Proposed Regulations was sent to the Division of State Documents for publication in the next issue of the Maryland Register on September 4, 2015. The Final Action becomes effective on September 14, 2015. If you want to read the full text, please refer to the regulations here.
Many have asked if financing is possible through federal banks. To answer this question we must assume that, like most businesses, a medical marijuana grower or dispensary will need money to start. Most business operators would go to a bank for a business loan, but the federal government does not allow any bank to loan any funds or accept any deposits from any businesses related to medical or recreational marijuana. Federal banking lending laws and funding limitations on loans used for medical marijuana businesses simply state it is not allowed. This is an issue coming up on Capitol Hill, however. Check back for updates on the banking regulations as they are questioned or possibly altered.
Additionally, there have been questions on zoning for medical marijuana businesses. The Commission has stated that such facilities would still have to meet all local planning and zoning requirements.
The timeline for the Maryland medical marijuana regulations, applications, and the like can be found here. For the rest of 2015, the timeline reads as follows:
– Anticipated adoption of Maryland Medical Cannabis Regulations.
– Applications (and instructions) for Growers, Processors and Dispensaries are posted to the Commission website.
– Stage 1 application period begins.
Mid-October – November
– Stage 1 application period closes for Grower, Processor, and Dispensary Applications.
December – January
– Review of Stage 1 applications is completed and license pre-approvals announced by the Commission.
– Registries for Physicians, Patients and Caregivers are available.
Applications and instructions are expected to be available this September, with a likely 45-day period in which to apply. Applications will be reviewed and ranked according to a published rubric by an independent review team. Pre-approval licenses are expected by the end of 2015. The Commission anticipates medical marijuana could become available to patients in the second half of 2016.
Most recently, on March 21, interim director Richard Proctor made the following statement with an update regarding medical marijuana licenses and current registries:
“I have had the distinct privilege of serving as Interim Executive Director since February 4, 2016. I look forward to utilizing my more than 35 years of experience in a variety of related positions in both the public and private sectors to further the mission of the Commission during my tenure.
I am pleased to report that, as of this posting, 112 physicians have registered on the physician registry. We continue to receive positive feedback from physicians about the registration process and anticipate a robust representation by the time the state is ready to begin receiving patient certifications. I hope you will join us in encouraging additional physicians to register!
I am also pleased to report that the patient registry is ready for load testing in advance of the go-live date. In anticipation of heavy registration once launched, we are practicing an abundance of caution by ensuring the registry has been fully load tested prior to launch. Upon completion of the successful testing process, an announcement will be made as to the precise go-live date.
We remain on target to award Stage 1 Grower and Processor licenses this summer and look forward to providing an updated timeline for the issuance of Stage 1 Dispensary licenses in the near future.”
If you would like further details, please visit the Commission’s website. Also, Commissioner Eric E. Sterling, Esquire’s, June 24, 2015 presentation outlining the regulations for each section can be found here. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.