FAQs – Dispensaries
How many Dispensaries
have been pre-approved?
The Commission announced the names of
102 pre-approved Dispensaries on December 9, 2016, however, no final licenses to dispense medical
cannabis have been issued. The pre-approved companies are currently
working through Stage Two of the approval process, which includes undergoing
criminal background investigations, completing regulatory
requirements, securing local zoning approvals, and compliance inspections by
the MMCC. The Commissioners will vote for licensure in a public meeting
once compliance with the regulatory requirements is complete.
dispensaries be located?
The regulations state that there be no more than two
dispensaries located in each of the 47 legislative districts in the state, not
including the dispensary of a licensed grower who may hold a dispensary
provides that “A party applying for a grower/processor/dispensary license shall
have an interest in only one grower/processor/dispensary license
application.” What does “party” mean?
For this regulation, a party is an investor. An investor may
have an interest in only one application. This carries out the legal
requirement of Health General Article 13-3306(a)(2)(iv).
What services will a
dispensary be able to provide?
Dispensaries may distribute medical cannabis in processed
form or dried flower. Dispensaries will also be permitted to supply devices to
administer medical cannabis. Dispensaries may offer delivery services to
Will there be a list
of licensed dispensaries?
locations of licensed Dispensaries will be posted on the Commission’s website as
each licensed dispensary opens.
Will dispensaries be
subject to state inspection?
Yes, all dispensaries located in Maryland will be subject to
Can a dispensary lose
Yes. The Commission is authorized to inspect dispensaries on
an ongoing basis. In the case of a major deficiency, or a failed inspection,
the Commission may take action, including revoking a license to dispense
What would a Maryland
medical cannabis dispensary look like in my community?
The Commission’s regulations and application process are
designed so that the successful applicants for medical cannabis dispensary
licenses will operate facilities that will not deviate from the character of
the streetscape where they are located, and not offend or disrupt the character
of the local community.
Maryland law provides that all medical cannabis dispensaries
must comply with local zoning and planning requirements. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission will
not license any operation that does not have local zoning and planning board
approval. This means that local rules
that govern other medical or retail facilities, where they may be located, and
the signage that they are permitted to use will apply to medical cannabis
dispensaries in the community. Failure
to carry out the plans spelled out in the dispensary application could result
in a fine of $5,000 or the suspension or revocation of the license.
Is the consumption of
medical cannabis allowed at the premises of a license dispensary?
No; consumption on the premises is not allowed. The regulations require patients to sign a
statement that they understand that they are not immune from any prohibition on
smoking cannabis in a public place or in a motor vehicle, or on private
property where it is prohibited by the property owner. Dispensary operators who violate the
regulations or medical cannabis law are subject to fine and the suspension or
revocation of their license.
Regarding zoning and
planning approvals, when do I need to provide them to the Commission as part of
my license application?
Evidence that the licensed premises comply with all zoning
planning requirements needs to be finalized in Stage Two of the application
I have located
property for my dispensary that is zoned for commercial purposes. Is that satisfactory
to the commission?
The Commission will rely upon the zoning and planning
approval issued by the local jurisdiction. The local jurisdiction will
determine whether a zoning designation that permits retail or commercial
activity includes dispensing of medical cannabis. The applicant should take
steps to assure that the local jurisdiction has interpreted its zoning code to
mean that a commercial or retail zoning designation includes dispensing medical
Why do the Maryland
regulations exclude “food” from the permissible types of medical
cannabis-infused products? Does this mean that all edible forms of medical
cannabis are banned?
All “food” produced or sold in Maryland is regulated by the
Maryland Office of Food Safety. The Commission has not developed regulations
regarding the production of medical cannabis in forms like food. Licensed processors will produce cannabis in
forms such as extracts, oils, and tinctures. Some of those products would be
suitable for patients and caregivers to use at home to make a wide variety of
edible forms of cannabis. Some of these could also be flavored to increase
palatability. Patients will need appropriate guidance and education about
Why do persons who
want to volunteer to work at a licensed medical cannabis grower facility or
licensed medical cannabis dispensary have to submit to a criminal background
check? Who is a “volunteer?”
The General Assembly described all the persons who work or
are affiliated with a licensed medical cannabis grower in the definition of
“medical cannabis grower agent” to include “an owner, an employee, a volunteer,
an officer, or a director.” Similarly, the General Assembly defined “dispensary
agent” to mean “an owner, a member, an employee, a volunteer, an officer, or a
director.” The General Assembly also
required that all grower agents and dispensary agents have a criminal
Can a licensed grower
also become a processor and a dispenser, (i.e., a vertically-integrated)
medical cannabis operation?
Does a “secure
transportation company” require a separate license from the State of Maryland?
No; the licensee must provide required agent ID cards to
anyone transporting cannabis.
May a transportation
agent have a non-Maryland driver’s license?
A transportation agent is not required to hold a Maryland
Can a person with a
particular skill be employed part-time by more than one grower, processor, or
Yes; however, the agent would need to register multiple
registrations at a charge of $200 per registration.
Can a person be an
agent for a grower, processor, and a dispensary?
Yes. A person can be an owner in an entity that obtains a
license for each class of activity, and therefore would be an agent for each
What is a “resident”?
A resident is one who lives in Maryland. A person may demonstrate Maryland residency by providing one or more of the following: 1) Most recent Maryland tax return; 2) Most recent Maryland property tax bill; 3) Local gas and electric bill that is no more than 4 months old; 5) Valid Maryland Driver’s license; or 6) Another record that corroborates the Maryland residency.
A business may be registered to conduct business in the
State of Maryland. They may be either an
out-of-state company which is establishing its Maryland existence, and its
principal place of business may or may not be Maryland. Alternatively, the business entity could be a
“grass roots” company, meaning a business that was founded in Maryland and
maintains its principal place of business in Maryland. In either eventuality, a business entity may
demonstrate its ability to conduct business in the State of Maryland by
providing the following: 1) Articles of Incorporation or Articles of
Organization; 2) Certificate of Status (also referred to as a Certificate of
Good Standing); and 3) Identification of the Resident Agent.
Will it be necessary
to conduct background checks for employees who do not handle cannabis, such as
While any subcontractor may be registered with the MMCC, the
subcontractor is not required to register with the MMCC. However, should the subcontractor not be
registered with the MMCC, then, they are considered a visitor to a non-public
area, and the Grower, Processor, or Dispensary will be required to 1) log the
visitor in and out of the premises; 2) retain a photocopy of the visitor’s
government-issued identification; 3) continually visually supervise the visitor
while on the premises; 4) ensure that the visitor does not touch any plant or
medical cannabis; and 5) maintain a log of all visitors to non-public areas for
If our organization
obtains a license to be a dispensary and a license to be a processor, may we
locate both of the operations to be carried out under these separate licenses
at a single location?
Yes, so long as the building is constructed so that the
processor and dispensary are two completely different units, each with an
address which is independent of the other, they may share one common roof. However, the two premises must each have a
separate means of ingress and egress, and under no circumstances may the two
premises have any means of internal ingress or egress between the dispensary or
If, pursuant to COMAR
10.62.06.07A, a dispensary agent confiscates a patient or caregiver
identification card from a person to whom it has not been issued, and then
returns it to the Commission, does the dispensary or the dispensary agent need
to submit an incident report?
The regulations do not specify or require that a report
accompany the return of the confiscated patient ID card. However, it would be a
good practice for the dispensary to prepare an explanation of why it is
transmitting a patient or caregiver ID card to the Commission.
Before a patient can
receive medical cannabis at a dispensary, the patient has to sign a statement
(“attest”) that the patient understands, among other things, that “scientific
research has not established the safety of the use of medical cannabis by
pregnant women,” and that the use of medical cannabis is not approved by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Are
these warning adequate, especially the warning regarding the question of the
safety of the use of medical cannabis by pregnant women?
Yes; the Commission believes that these statements,
acknowledge that each time a patient obtains medical cannabis will reinforce
the need for caution to protect against the misuse of medical cannabis obtained
from Maryland dispensaries. The
Commission reviewed the studies that have been published regarding cannabis use
and pregnancy and determined that this warning is an accurate statement of the
conclusions that can be made from the scientific evidence, and is sufficient to
guide patients to be cautious.
How much medical
cannabis and medical cannabis-infused product can a patient obtain in 30 days?
The General Assembly directed the Commission to determine
the amount of medical cannabis that would constitute a 30-day supply. Medical cannabis and medical cannabis-infused
products will vary in their cannabinoid profile and potencies. The Commission wanted to ensure that patients
would be able to obtain sufficient medical cannabis each month to provide
relief of their symptoms, and established 120 grams of usable cannabis
(primarily dried flower) as a 30-day supply.
The Commission also recognized that medical
cannabis-infused products could not be measured in the same way as usable
cannabis, and set a limit of 36 grams of THC as a 30-day supply. Each batch of usable cannabis will state the
THC quantity (expressed as a percentage). The dispensary will calculate the
weight of the THC in each transaction of usable cannabis, and will not dispense
medical cannabis-infused products in a 30 day period that exceeds the 36 gram