On Monday, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission opened its patient registry and by Friday, there were a total of 1,200 patients that had registered. Patients suffering with a wide range of conditions registered online, starting with last names beginning with letters A and L. Patients with the names at the end of the alphabet will be able to begin registering on Monday and starting April 24, the registry will be open to all prospective patients.
Conditions that have been approved for medical marijuana under Maryland law include, seizures, chronic pain, anorexia, wasting syndrome and other ailments.By last November, 172 physicians had registered to recommend medical marijuana to patients – the number has grown to 250 physicians. In 2002, a federal appeals court ruled that doctors may discuss medical marijuana with their patients and issue written recommendations, but in 2005, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
Chief of the Cheverly police and vice chairman Harry “Buddy” Robshaw said, “disparaging the self-serving words and hints of corruption” have been leveled in recent weeks.
“We have and always will remain committed to bringing cannabis to the residents of Maryland who desperately need it,” Robshaw said during the meeting.
State legislators and companies have spoken out against the commission’s decisions to award companies, preliminary licenses to process, grow and dispense marijuana.
Two companies bumped from the list of licensees last fall after they scored high on the blind analysis, lead to a flurry of lawsuits being filed against the state. The commission defended the action, saying it was necessary to spread the companies out geographically. The Legislative Black Caucus also had concerns, because no company owned by an African-American was granted a preliminary license.
State lawmakers considered legislation, before the recent General Assembly came to an end that would require the state to issue more cannabis licenses. The process could favor minority-owned companies, but lawmakers could not agree on the details and no bill was passed.
Lawmakers are hoping that the lawsuits will disappear, if the legislation is passed. Black caucus members urged legislative leaders to return for a special General Assembly session to resolve the issue, but a spokesman for Governor Larry Hogan said, “This is between the president and the speaker.”
“ We are having some good numbers that are coming in,” said Patrick Jameson, executive director of the commission. “The rollout so far is going well.”
“This is a new and changing industry and it will probably take a couple years before it reaches full maturity,” Jameson said.