FAQs – Processors
How will processors be licensed?
The Commission has announced the names of 15 Pre-approved Processors, however, no actual final licenses to process medical cannabis have been issued. The pre-approved entities are currently working through Stage Two of the licensing process, which includes extensive background investigations and regulatory requirements. The Commissioners will vote for licensure in a public meeting once compliance with the regulatory requirements is complete.
What services will a processor be able to provide?
A processor will process usable medical cannabis into medical cannabis concentrates, or medical cannabis-infused products.
What is a medical cannabis-infused product?
A cannabis-infused product means an oil, wax, ointment, salve, tincture, capsule, suppository, dermal patch, cartridge or other product containing medical cannabis concentrate, or usable cannabis that has been processed so that the dried leaves and flowers are integrated into other material.
Can a processor process medical cannabis into an edible medical cannabis-infused product?
Will processed medical cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused products be subject to independent laboratory testing before release?
Yes. All products will be subject to independent laboratory testing to assure that the medicine is pure and meets the processor’s specifications.
Will processors be subject to state inspection?
Yes; all processors in Maryland will be subject to inspection.
How will processors interact with growers?
Processors will contract with one or more licensed growers to obtain medical cannabis to process. They will need to follow inventory controls specified in the regulations, and in the standard operating procedures of the processors and growers.
Can licensed processors obtain medical cannabis from growers outside Maryland?
Can licensed processors transport outside Maryland?
How will processors interact with dispensaries?
Processors will contract with dispensaries to distribute their products. They will need to follow inventory controls specified in the draft regulations, and in the standard operating procedures of the processors and dispensaries.
Can a processor lose their license?
Yes. The Commission has the authority to inspect processors on an ongoing basis. In the case of a major deficiency or a failed inspection, the Commission may discipline the licensee, including by revoking the processor’s license.
Are there any packaging requirements for finished products processed by licensed processors?
Yes, the regulations list the requirements for packaging and labeling of medical cannabis finished products.
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 is required in Stage Two of the application process.
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?
No. 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 edible products.
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.
If our organization obtains a license to be a grower and a license to be a processor, may we locate both of those operations at a single location?
Yes. In so far as the premises comply with local zoning and planning codes, and are constructed and organized to maintain security, cleanliness, safety and the required inventory controls, a grower facility and a processor facility may be located on the same property.
If our organization obtains a license to be a dispensary and a license to be a processor, may we locate both 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 processor.
Can a licensed grower also become a processor and a dispenser, (i.e., a vertically-integrated) medical cannabis operation?
Yes, parties or entities who wish to operate a growing and processing facility, as well as a dispensary, must submit separate license applications for each facility. The Commission may award separate licenses for each 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 driver’s license.
Can a person with a particular skill be employed part-time by more than one grower, processor, or dispensary?
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 licensee.
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 janitorial staff?
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 two years.