Thad Zajdowicz

Some patients and potential caregivers in Maryland can sign up for medical cannabis licenses today with a doctor’s approval that they meet one of the qualifying conditions under the law, NBC 4 Washington reports. Registration is open for those whose last names start with the letters A through L; registration for those whose last names start with the letters M through Z will begin on Apr. 17; and open registration begins on Apr. 24.

The patient and caregiver enrollment begins despite the fact that no final cultivation licenses have yet been issued in the state and patients won’t have immediate access to medical cannabis. Patients and caregivers must apply with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

“Medical cannabis is currently not available in the state of Maryland,” the MMCC website states. “The industry is still being constructed and we expect availability by the end of summer 2017 depending on industry progress. The Commission will make a public announcement once medical cannabis becomes available to the public.”

Last week, the Maryland House of Delegates passed legislation that would add five additional cultivation licenses after a study is conducted as to whether minorities had undergone discrimination in the licensing process – one of the key issues that has caused delays in the implementation of the state program.

Three minority-led companies that were denied preliminary cultivation licenses have sued the commission claiming that they failed to follow the letter of the law, which requires regulators to “actively seek and achieve” racial and ethnic diversity in the industry.

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