Maryland Cannabis Industry Preparing for Launch
It’s been quite the year for cannabis and things are gearing up for a frantic finish to 2016, especially on the east coast. In Maryland, 102 licensees have less than a year to raise capital, secure property, install equipment, train staff, and prepare their facility for a final inspection but most are hoping to be ready in half that time. With the goal of establishing a foothold and a brand in one of 47 districts, cannabis business owners both new and experienced are spending the last days of 2016 celebrating and preparing for an explosive 2017.
But it’s not just Maryland, the north east is experiencing a green rush akin to Colorado circa 2012. Massachusetts and Maine have voted for legal adult use while Maryland has joined New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut making some form of medical cannabis available.
“We are super excited to have been granted a pre-approval to dispense cannabis in the State of Maryland. The east coast is shaping up to be a major player in the Industry and with two states in the North east having approved adult use in the last election, businesses all over are gearing up to take the industry by storm. Now is the time for everyone to focus on education, making connections with existing and proposed cannabis industry businesses and to making plans for compliance and success” said Leah Heise, of Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute LLC, license winner for district 40.
According to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, who’s responsible for developing policies, procedures and regulations to implement programs that ensure medical cannabis is available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner, the state received over 800 applicants across all license types. In an effort to standardize the review process, the Commission called on Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute to implement the evaluation process. Applications were reviewed by the Institute anonymously and presented to the Commission upon completion. Using those rankings, the Commission made their selections.
The announcement was not without controversy as representatives from the General Assembly’s black caucus reiterated their disappointment in the selection process. Citing the Commissions neglect to factor race into the license process, Del. Cherly D Glenn intends to introduce legislation that will allow minority business owners more access to the cannabis industry.
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