Regulated sales of adult-use cannabis will begin in Maryland on Saturday.
The sales begin seven months after cannabis was legalised by voters in the state in November.
People ages 21 and older will now be able to purchase recreational cannabis in the state, with the bill enabling:
- Existing medical licensees to be converted to a new license authorising the cultivation, manufacture, and sales of medical and adult-use cannabis.
- A single-supply chain for all products grown or produced in Maryland.
- An application and licensing process for new businesses.
Emergency regulations for the preparation of the market are also commencing the implementation of social equity provisions, such as the implementation of the Social Equity Partnership Grant Program, reduced licensing and renewal fees for social equity businesses; and the requirement for existing businesses to distribute to, or reserve distribution space for social equity businesses.
Speaking to High Times, Meg Nash, a partner at the cannabis and psychedelics law firm Vicente LLP, said: “Maryland’s swift implementation of its adult-use cannabis program is remarkable, and will hopefully serve as a model for other states that share the policy goals of increased access to safe cannabis products and to deterring participation in the unregulated industry.
“The Maryland Cannabis Administration shows no signs of slowing down, as a new licensing round that will be exclusively available to social equity applicants is expected to be announced in the coming months, with new licensees selected via lottery before the end of the year.”
The new regulations also supplement the state’s current medical cannabis programme, aiming to help maintain best practices and establish special accommodations for medical patients.
These include patient hours for medical-only dispensing, reserved patient lanes at the licensed dispensaries and reserved products for medical patients.
The existing patient and caregiver registry and registration process will continue, along with access through delivery services for patients.