Harford Magazine - Page 42 - A Budding Industry (4)

Harford Magazine
- Page 42
A Budding Industry (4)
customers can add to water.

“It’s not like it’s Cheech and Chong [where] I’ve got to get out my bowl or I have to get out a joint and smoke it,” Grossman says. “You can use a transdermal patch, you can use creams, you can use tinctures, you can use pills. And all of those forms don’t necessarily have to get you high. They can, but they don’t have to.”

Donovan and MacLeod, along with Kal Shah, an Ellicott City resident and owner of True Wellness, say they, too, plan to offer a range of products at their dispensaries. Every product will be grown and produced in Maryland, as required by law, Shah says.

Growing pains

Overall, Grossman says the state’s medical cannabis market opened smoothly in December. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission pre-approved 102 dispensaries, and more than 700 providers, including doctors, nurses and dentists, have signed on to the program. A dozen of those providers are based in Harford County.

But technical and legal issues, as well as broad provider buy-in, have caused challenges.

Some lawmakers have criticized the lack of diversity in the market, so in April, the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate passed a bill that would issue seven new cannabis growing and 13 new cannabis processing licenses. It also calls for an award process that takes race and the barriers to starting a cannabis dispensary into account.

Also, while the state intended that a business could own only one store, a disputed reading of the regulations has allowed bigger companies such as GTI to gain control of licenses to more than one dispensary. GTI controls five licenses: In addition to RISE Joppa, it plans to open a dispensary in Abingdon at an undetermined date. The Maryland Medical Cannabis