Maryland officials may announce the winners of the state’s 15 medical cannabis growing licenses and unveil the first wave of marijuana processors as early as August 5, state regulators announced this week. Dispensary licenses, of which there will be a maximum of 94, will be awarded later.
The medical marijuana licensing process in Maryland has already faced some serious delays: licenses were originally expected in February of this year, and applications have been in review since December 2015.
Paul Davies, a physician and chairman of the Medical Cannabis Commission, told the Baltimore Sun that officials would publicly review the top submissions for cannabis growing and processing applications in the coming weeks — August 5 at the soonest, he said, though he declined to set a date.
“It’s going to be an exciting few weeks,” Davies said.
Maryland, which will issue a limited number of grower and dispensary licenses, has set some of the highest medical cannabis licensing fees in the country. Industry experts predict that — between the ability for dentists and other perhaps unexpected medical professionals to recommend medical cannabis, the state’s emphasis on tightly controlled supply, and the program’s steep entry costs — Maryland will present an interesting medical cannabis market.
The state’s new executive director of the Medical Cannabis Commission, Patrick Jameson, said that he was disappointed with the cannabis licensing process so far. He said things were taking “too long” and described the process as both “too cumbersome” and “too expensive” — comments that reportedly disappointed other members of the commission. Jameson joined the commission in April.