Maryland approves first medical marijuana dispensary

Regulators approved Maryland's first medical marijuana dispensary on Wednesday, authorizing a Frederick company to open its doors immediately even though the drug will not be available for months.

The Wellness Institute of Maryland plans to start seeing patients Thursday and take what owner Michael Kline called "pre-orders" for cannabis.

"We are fully equipped to deliver medicine as soon as we have it," Kline said minutes after the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved his license.

Although Maryland legalized medical marijuana more than four years ago, just one firm is authorized to grow it. That first crop is not expected to be ready until after Labor Day.


High court's order allows medical marijuana licensing to proceed for now

Maryland's medical marijuana commission can continue to issue licenses for companies to grow the drug.

Maryland's highest court denied a motion Friday to continue a temporary restraining order that blocked the commission from issuing licenses for about a week, due to a lawsuit against the commission. The court also agreed to hear arguments from finalists to be licensed who contend they should have been allowed to intervene in the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals set a July 27 hearing date.


California, Florida Among States Offering Breaks to Nonwhite Marijuana Business Owners

In West Virginia, a new law includes a provision that requires regulators to encourage minority-owned business owners to apply for growing licenses. (Photo by Heath Korvola/ Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In some states that have legalized marijuana, officials are trying to entice nonwhite citizens to join the cannabis industry with breaks aimed at making up for the toll unequal drug enforcement has taken on Black and brown communities.

So far, the booming industry has overwhelmingly line the pockets of white cannabis sellers.


Growing Pot Industry Offers Breaks to Entice Minorities

Andre Shavers was sentenced to five years on felony probation after authorities burst into the house where he was living in one of Oakland's most heavily policed neighborhoods and found a quarter ounce of marijuana.

After the 2007 raid, Shavers couldn't leave the state without permission. He was subject to police searches at any time. He walked to the corner store one night for maple syrup and came back in a police car. Officers wanted to search his home again.

All the while, cannabis storefronts flourished elsewhere in a state where medical marijuana was authorized in 1996.


Man Charged with Marijuana Possession Benefits from Maryland's Decriminalization

Maryland signed off on its medical marijuana program four years ago, and it has yet to deliver its first dose, but there is evidence that public acceptance of the drug has already had an impact on the state.

In July of 2012, police discovered dozens of marijuana plants in Nick Dominick's backyard, and he admitted he'd grown them so he could self-medicate.

"Back pain issues... I had surgery on my neck for cervical fusion and I can't take medications and pain pills and stuff like that," said Dominick at the time.

But Anne Arundel County police saw it differently---a virtual field of marijuana, concealed by a six foot high fence with lattice and black plastic sheeting all located within a thousand feet of Arundel High School.


Maryland just got its first licensed grower of medical marijuana

The commission that oversees Maryland’s fledgling medical cannabis program voted Wednesday to award the state’s first full license to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The Stage 2 license, awarded to ForwardGro LLC, is a final sign-off from regulators for putting plants in the ground. The company will still have to wait for dispensaries to be fully inspected and licensed before it can sell cannabis products to approved patients, which it hopes to do by late summer or early fall.

Gail Rand, chief financial officer and patient advocate for ForwardGro, said “the patients of Maryland will finally have an opportunity to try this medicine that could help tens of thousands of people.”


A Racial Equity Test for Medical Cannabis in Maryland

The movement for racial equity in the medical cannabis trade appears to be going bipartisan—last week, Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, ordered the state to conduct a study on whether racial disparities exist in the process for obtaining a state license for growing or selling medical marijuana.


Maryland Medical Marijuana Training for Dispensary Agents Hosted by HempStaff

HempStaff, a medical marijuana staffing and training agency, is hosting two Medical Marijuana Dispensary Agent Training Classes in Maryland. There are two sessions to choose from at each location: 8:00am-12:00pm or 1:30pm-5:30pm.

The Baltimore event will be held on Saturday, March 25th at the Doubletree Baltimore Airport 890 Elkridge Landing Road,? Linthicum Heights, MD 21090.


Medical Cannabis Company Ready to Expand in Maryland

Maryland's medical cannabis program is expected to be fully up and running later this year, and in the coming months, patients can register with the state.

But there's a series of issues that still need to be resolved, even as marijuana growers and dispensaries are getting ready to open for business.

Construction is moving fast at a 44,000-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore. Ted Rebholz, president of Temescal Wellness, gave 11 News an exclusive tour of their soon-to-be medical cannabis facility. For security reasons, 11 News agreed not to share the exact location.


Maryland Lawmakers to Introduce Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Maryland lawmakers are introducing legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. 

Supporters are scheduled to talk about the measure on Monday. 

One measure would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol. 

Another bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana. 

The General Assembly decriminalized marijuana in 2014. People caught with less than 10 grams are now issued a $100 ticket. The fine increases to $500 for repeat offenses.


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