At the Law Office of Adam Habibi, we have been closely monitoring and following the Medical Marijuana laws in Maryland in order to ensure that we are able to provide competent legal advice for our prospective and current clients. The Maryland Medical Marijuana laws apply not only to the end users, but also the dispensaries, the growers, the processors, and even the caregivers. To give you an example, the law clearly defines the packaging requirements that would be applicable to the processing centers throughout Maryland. The law also further explains in what situations can caregivers be given identification cards to pick up prescriptions for patients and in the alternative the process for patient identification cards to be issued. These identification card requirements would be most applicable to dispensaries and their operations to verify prescriptions. This Law firm takes great pride in our subject matter expertise in this field after having spent amble time in interpreting Subtitle 62. We ask that should you have a question pertaining to these new laws to contact us immediately for our legal advice.
The Maryland Medical Marijuana laws are contained in the Code of Maryland Regulations also known as the COMAR. Specifically, under Title 10 Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Part 5, Subtitle 62 “Natalie LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission”. The Natalie LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission was enacted to address the laws related to Medical Marijuana distribution in Maryland. Chapter 10.62.01 is the starting point where the laws related to this matter are cited. The online location for the Cannabis laws can be found here Subtitle 62 gave effect to a Medical Cannabis Commission in Maryland to oversea the entire Marijuana effort. This Commission being the same Commission who would review and approve applications for Companies to become licensed growers, processors, and/or distributors.
Why is it called Natalie LaPrade Commission? Natalie LaPrade was the mother of Baltimore City Delegate Cheryl Glenn. The Delegate felt that if her mother would have been permitted usage of medical marijuana, she would have died without the pain she endured due to kidney cancer at the age 87.
The Medical Marijuana Cannabis Commission or MMCC issued 15 preapprovals to grow medical cannabis, 15 companies to process medical cannabis, and 102 pre-approvals to companies to dispense medical marijuana. To the end user, that would ultimately mean 102 locations to purchase medical marijuana however there are several restrictions in place. In a recent article post for the Washington Post we read that the Maryland Marijuana Commission had finally awarded its first full license to grow medical marijuana to one Applicant. However, pursuant to the rules, the dispensary Applicant still needed to undergo inspection and licensure before its first sell. The remainder of this blog seeks to explain some requirements that Growers and Distributors have before they can finally sell their product.
Chapter 10.62.08.02 deals with the Application Process for Medical Marijuana. In order for a Company to be a grower of Medical Marijuana in Maryland they must submit an application that contains including but not limited to the following medical cannabis grower agents, identify investors, detailed business plan, security plan, site plan, quality control, inventory plan, safekeeping and much more. Criminal History Record checks have to take place and the applicant must consent to full financial and background investigation before the grower license can be issued. At all times every registered grower agent is required to wear the issued identification card (2 year renewals), and must report any issue with the card. For a location to be approved for growing, it must be within Maryland, conform to all zoning requirements, and the license must be conspicuously displayed. If there is a field or greenhouse cultivation, there must be physical security as well as fencing/gates with security alarms. The gates must cover the entire perimeters, continuously be monitored and work even in instances of power loss. Video surveillance recording system must always be operational, have adequate lighting, motion control sensors to protect light-dark cycles and show the area of cultivation in its entirety. Even the storage on-site or off-site or cabinets holding or storing medical cannabis must be under independent security alarm system. The security alarm shall be equipped with auxiliary power sufficient to maintain operations for at least 48 hours in accordance with 10.62.10.06.
Distributors and Processors must be aware of several other aspects before starting operations. They must be aware that the packaging of medical cannabis is mandated by the COMAR Title 10 Section 56 Chapter 10.62.24.01. The packaging of the product must be plain, opaque, tamper-proof, with child resistant, bear finished lot number and expiration date, and provide several warnings. Maryland Poison Control Center’s phone number must be on the package as well as the licensee’s name who packaged the medical cannabis. Itemization including weight, concentrates and all ingredients must be clearly identified and marked. Equally important, no trademark or other characteristics of candy, snacks or resemblances must be shown on the package, or statement of artwork that would mislead someone to believe the package was other than cannabis can be displayed. No seal, flag, crest, coat of arms, or insignia that could mislead a person to believe that the product was endorsed manufactured by the State or cartoons, color scheme, image, graphics that might attract children should be shown on the packaging. Packaging is critical and it needs to be done right. Our law firm can help review the packing before it goes to production and we stand ready to assist.
As times goes on, we will provide more information regarding the regulation pertaining to medical marijuana. We hope to discuss quality control, clinical director requirements, records, inspection, discipline and enforcement, and concentrates in the next write ups. Please feel free to comment or reach out to us if you have any questions. Our contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send messages through this webpage.
This article does not create attorney-client privilege, and the information contained herein should not be relied upon for legal advice. We suggest you contact a lawyer directly on the phone should you have a legal question.