Baltimore going greener as more marijuana dispensaries set to open

The city of Baltimore is turning that little greener following the news that the Maryland marijuana regulators have agreed to the opening of seven new medical marijuana dispensaries, two of which will be located in Baltimore.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission gave its final seal of approval for the opening of seven new dispensaries as well as a new processor at its latest meeting held on Tuesday.

The two new dispensaries opening in Baltimore are ReLeaf Shop, which will open its doors on April 20 at 1114 Cathedral Street in Midtown-Belvedere, and Culta, which will open at 215 Key Highway in Federal Hill, date yet unknown.

There are now approaching 50 licensed dispensaries spread across the state of Maryland, just under half of the 102 licenses approved by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

In comparison to other states in the U.S., the medical marijuana program in Maryland has been relatively slow getting off the ground following its creation by the General Assembly back in 2012. It was only in December 2017 that licensed companies were granted permission to send medical cannabis to dispensaries. Since Decembers ruling, the medical marijuana dispensaries have been rapidly opening throughout the state and building up their inventories.

At present, there are approximately 28,000 patients registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission who are permitted to purchased medical marijuana products from the newly opened dispensaries with more dispensaries scheduled for opening.

The marijuana industry provided one of the hottest topics of debate in 2018’s Maryland General Assembly session. The people of Maryland overwhelmingly view medical marijuana favorably and is a popular cause in the state. In a 2014 Goucher Poll, it was shown that the sale of medical marijuana in Maryland enjoyed a convincing 90 percent approval rating.

Two weeks ago, the Maryland Senate committee approved a plan to help businesses owned by minorities establish a position in the expanding marijuana industry. Maryland lawmakers also approved the creation of a “compassionate use fund” to assist people with veterans benefits or Medicaid, wanting to use medical marijuana but are unable to afford it.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Maryland and patients can only carry up to 120 grams unless determined by a physician that the patient needs more. Doctors and patients cannot grow their own medical marijuana and the FDA is yet to approve any product derived from or containing marijuana.