WASHINGTON — Medical marijuana has been legal in Maryland since June 2014, but there is still no place in the state where patients can legally buy it. However, that may soon change.
Medical marijuana dispensary businesses in Maryland were given a preliminary thumbs-up on Friday, according to a news release from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The businesses could be up and running by the summer.
Across Maryland, 102 medical marijuana dispensaries were given a preapproval for licenses out of 811 applications that had been submitted. The dispensaries have up to a year to make their businesses operational.
The MMCC told The Washington Post that patients could begin legally buying marijuana for medical purposes as early as the summer for the treatment of seizures or anxiety and for dealing with the side effects of cancer or chemotherapy.
This preapproval is stage one in the licensing process, the news release said.
Once the licenses are finalized and issued, these dispensaries will be tightly regulated, said MMCC executive director Patrick Jameson in the news release.
Jameson expects these businesses to be run “in an extremely professional manner” to give the public “reassurance” they will positively impact local communities, he said in the release.
In the next stage of the licensing process, the new business owners will have to go through financial and criminal background checks, the release said.