Harford Magazine - Page 43 - A Budding Industry (5)

Harford Magazine
- Page 43
A Budding Industry (5)
Commission has been considering how to address the issue.

In July, the system that automatically tracked medical cannabis use for dispensaries and consumers in real time was temporarily turned off. Dispensaries had to use a time-consuming, multi-step process to ensure consumers remain below their legal allotments.

And in January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would give federal prosecutors more freedom to enforce marijuana laws in states that legalized the substance. This worried local physicians, Ransom says.

“Frankly, I think a lot of physicians who were considering getting the recommender license decided not to do it, or folks who had the license decided not to take any action,” he says.

Physicians also have concerns about cannabis amounts, Ransom says. If a commission-registered physician doesn’t write a specific amount on the patient’s recommendation, it defaults to the maximum amount allowed under the law, he says.

“You should really write it for the amount that you think is going to solve the issue, which can be really difficult for the physician because there’s no real guidance or science on this stuff,” Ransom says.

That’s why education is so important, Donovan says. Donovan and MacLeod, as well as Shah, say they plan to have seminars on the benefits of medical cannabis when they open. They will also reach out to doctors in the community about the drug’s benefits.

“If there’s one driving force for Beth and myself, it’s that this is medicine,” Donovan says. “This is an alternative to helping with symptoms and helping someone who has a chronic disease.”

She added: “I certainly wouldn’t force it on anybody who had strong beliefs. But I couldn’t stress enough to be open-minded. Look at what some people are saying, how people who’ve been through it have used it and how they’ve found life on the other side.”