Maryland Approves First MMJ Dispensary

Maryland’s first medical cannabis dispensary has been approved by the state Medical Cannabis Commission to open immediately and, although products will not be available for months, the owner of the Wellness Institute of Maryland said the organization will begin seeing patients today and taking pre-orders, the Baltimore Sun reports.

“We are fully equipped to deliver medicine as soon as we have it,” said Wellness Institute owner Michael Kline in the report, adding that the dispensary will operate more like a doctor’s office than a retail store.

Patient consults will take about an hour and they will be asked to keep an electronic diary in order to track their cannabis use and progress. Kline indicated the company has no plans to advertise to the public but do plan to offer home delivery services.

“Many, if not most people, won’t be interested in our model,” Kline said. “They would like to go in like it’s a strip mall or a 7-Eleven.”

Maryland’s first medical cannabis products are expected to be available sometime after Labor Day, but Kline is confident that in the meantime he can get patients enrolled, answer any questions, and complete “all the paperwork that’s doable.”

To date, 9,000 Maryland residents have already signed up to access medical cannabis once available but fewer than 300 doctors have registered to recommend use. The state regime allows reciprocity with other state programs which means producers and dispensaries need to prepare beyond the reported numbers of enrolled patients.

Under regulations passed by the commission last month, dentists, midwives, nurse practitioners, and podiatrists are also permitted to recommend medical cannabis but fewer than 20 of those providers have signed up with the state.

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