The Maryland medical cannabis program has grown in leaps and bounds since its start on December 1, 2017. At that time, less than 18,000 patients were registered and only eight dispensaries were open. The Maryland market now counts nearly 52,000 patients going to 71 dispensaries.
Because of this expansion of patients and dispensaries, Maryland’s medical cannabis industry ended its first year of operation with $96.3 million in sales of 730,000 individual products.
And the pace has not let up. Between 250 and 350 patients have been applying to the program each day.
“Every Monday, we come in to 1,000 new applications. … People have really started to take notice of the cannabis program in Maryland,” Joy Strand, executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), said.
In this post, we’ll review how much MMCC has achieved and the challenges moving forward.
Maryland Medical Cannabis in Numbers
Since the program started, there have been 2 million transactions. Here is what drove this result in one year:
- The number of dispensaries grew from 8 to 71.
- 1,187 medical providers have registered with the program.
- The number of patients grew to 51,704 by the end of November 2018.
- 14 cultivators, 14 processors and 5 testing labs provided safe access to medical cannabis products at dispensaries.
- 4,659 people registered as caregivers — individuals who care for minors or disabled people using cannabis products.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Challenges
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has faced some criticism regarding accessibility to contracts, cost of entry, and products. Specifically:
- The Maryland medical cannabis program is experiencing high race and gender disparities in their access to state and private sector contracts and in those factors necessary for business success. Based on statistical and anecdotal evidence, it has been determined by the state that affirmative intervention is still needed.
- In order to purchase medical marijuana in 2018, patients had the option of showing either their license and certification card or patient ID. Now patients have to purchase a $50 patient ID card, which many feel is unfair considering traditional pharmaceuticals don’t have this requirement. Existing patients have until April 1 to purchase the card.
- Cannabis edibles were not available in Maryland dispensaries for the entire first year. MMCC acknowledged that many patients, especially seniors, prefer to use edibles as their delivery method. Now word has to get out that edibles are available at dispensaries like Remedy Columbia.
Remedy Columbia Proud to Offer Maryland Medical Cannabis
The Maryland Medical Cannabis program still has progress to make, but it also has good reason to celebrate its first year with increased dispensaries and many more registered patients and providers.
If you’re just starting the process, Remedy Columbia welcomes all licensed Maryland Patients for walk-ins. We also have Patient Registration Appointments and Patient Education Appointments to help you get started. One of our team members will assist you along your way to becoming a Medical Cannabis Patient in Maryland. The best part? Our menu has a variety of flower, extracts, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more to choose from, now including edibles. Everybody will find something for them.