*Photo credit by my friends at weekendreviewkit.com
In the last of this four part series, we turn our focus to Maryland. In 2013, Maryland legalized medical cannabis law. [Maryland Cannabis Legislation]. Four years later, the growers, processors and dispensaries are opening their doors and beginning wholesale and retail product sales. Maryland is an interesting medical use state in that it has one of the broadest range of qualifying conditions in the country and allows for all methods of cannabis consumption (except edibles). In Maryland, persons 18 and above, may become a registered medical patient if you are diagnosed with wasting syndrome, anorexia, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, and/or ptsd. There is also a broad catch all in the law that allows a medical provider to recommend cannabis for any other condition in which they think cannabis would be effective. That catch all could be used for conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, and traumatic brain injury. Patients below the age of 18 may also have access to cannabis, but they must have a caregiver registered with the state and that caregiver is responsible for obtaining the cannabis and transporting that cannabis to them.
In Maryland, you do not have to be a medical doctor to recommend (the legal term for issuing a cannabis “prescription”) the use of cannabis. Any physician, nurse practitioner, dentist, podiatrist or nurse midwife who is registered with the State may certify someone to use cannabis. This is a much more liberal approach than those taken in other states. Maryland is further unique in that there is an allowance for a patient who is not a resident of the state to be treated by a Maryland medical provider and obtain a recommendation for medical cannabis. This is not reciprocity. States that have reciprocity, accept medical recommendations from another state’s program. Out of state patients, must be treated by a Maryland medical provider in order to have access to cannabis within the confines of the state.
Patients, medical providers and caregivers are all required to be registered with the State. Unlike other states, Maryland’s patient registration process is fairly simple. There is no requirement to be background checked or finger printed, nor does a patient have to carry a medical card, though one can be purchased from the Commission. To register as a patient or a caregiver, go to the Commission’s website.
Maryland is receiving 200-400 patient registration requests everyday. If you would like to become a patient in Maryland, and need assistance with the process, you may contact a representative from Mission Dispensaries at 1-833-POTHELP for further assistance or visit their website at Mission Dispensaries.
by Leah M. Heise, Esq.