Will Maryland be able to grow enough pot?

WASHINGTON — Maryland is expected to roll out registration for medical marijuana this summer, and the state will award 15 cultivation licenses to growers to supply the tightly regulated market. But a cannabis consumer advocacy group doesn’t think 15 growers will be able to keep up with demand.

While the cultivation licenses have not been issued and it is unclear how large the cultivation centers will be or how much they will produce, the Cannabis Consumers Coalition says it estimates Maryland will come up about 41,000 pounds short to meet demand after reviewing consumption data in other states with legal marijuana programs.

The group is asking policymakers to increase the number of cultivation licenses to 25.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission isn’t ruling out possible changes.

“As the medical cannabis program moves into its operational phase, the Commission will continue to monitor the needs of certified patients and the ability of the program to meet those needs,” the Commission said in an emailed statement to WTOP.

Maryland expects 125,000 people to register as medical marijuana patients when it begins accepting enrollment this summer.  Those patients should be able to begin purchasing cannabis in early 2017.

Under the Maryland law, physicians will be able to write certifications for any ailment that has not been treatable through conventional methods.

The Medical Cannabis Commission received more than 1,000 applications for licenses to operate cultivation centers and dispensaries. In addition to the 15 cultivation licenses, Maryland will likely allow about 90 dispensaries across the state.

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