MD: State Issues Preliminary Marijuana Growing Licenses – Including One In Montgomery

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Last week, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission granted license pre-approvals for companies to begin cultivating and processing marijuana in Maryland, including one processing organization in Montgomery County: Rosebud Organics, LLC.

The commissioners offered preliminary licenses to 15 growers and 15 processors, located throughout the state, though commission Executive Director Patrick Jameson stated, “A pre-approval is not a license.”

Instead, the pre-approval allows growers and processors to demonstrate they have the money and support to sustain an operation, according to Marc Harvill, a licensing service consultant and training manager at Medicine Man Technologies in Colorado.

According to Harvill, medical marijuana groups “are going to have to prove they have the capital.”

“The facilities are going to have to be inspected. It’s still conceivable that the folks that got preliminary licenses will not prove sufficiency in round two,” he said.

Companies must meet more regulatory requirements before the commissioners vote to grant them licenses.

Harvill said his organization started receiving inquiries about growing and processing cannabis in Maryland during the summer of 2015 “really kind of got pretty active maybe a month and a half when the application went live” in early September.

Although applicants expected commissioners to issue results in January, they ended up releasing them seven months later in August.

“The application was the most unique application we’ve ever seen in the other states we worked in. It was very cumbersome and onerous, even down to requiring word counts (and) 12-point, Times New Roman (font),” said Harvill. “It was like taking a seventh grade essay exam.”

Finding a place to sell medical marijuana locally will be one of the next challenges for those in the medical marijuana industry.

Takoma Park Council member Terry Seamens (District 4) noted the City Council debated the issue of where medical marijuana facilities could set up shop but the council members failed to agree on what to do about it.

There is a medical marijuana facility, Takoma Wellness Center, just over the Takoma Park border in Northeast Washington, D.C. but the city’s law restricts medical marijuana cards only to District of Columbia residents.

“The council did talk about weighing in on the zoning text administration that the County was doing and we were talking about what limitations we would want to put on the location of a medical marijuana location,” he said.

Although council members discussed whether to allow facilities to only set up if they were at least 500 feet from a school, they ultimately made no decision.

“We talked about it but nothing was ever done,” said Seamens. “I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about it myself.”

Seamens, a 33-year resident of the famously liberal city and a 17-year member of the City Council, said he is not concerned about the safety of a facility, likening it to “any other store.”

“I know other council members were concerned about locations to schools but this isn’t something that people would be using drugs at that location,” he said, noting customers would pick up their prescription and leave.

“There was a lot of discussion. There was no consensus at the time on our last discussion at this and I don’t believe the mayor has scheduled for it to come back to the council. I’m not sure anything’s going to happen.”

He said another concern raised within the community regarded whether a medical marijuana center would hurt foot traffic to nearby businesses.

Seamens dismissed that concern, saying, “I think there’s going to be foot traffic to that store and when people visit that store, they’re going to visit other stores also.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: State Issues Preliminary Marijuana Growing Licenses – Including One In Montgomery
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