First medical marijuana dispensary opens in Maryland

Maryland regulators are allowing the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary to open its doors immediately, even though no MMJ products will be available for months.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved Wellness Institute of Maryland’s license on Wednesday, the Baltimore Sun reported.

However,  the state’s first medical marijuana crop isn’t expected to be available until after Labor Day, so Michael Kline – owner of the Frederick-based Wellness Institute – said the dispensary would start taking “preorders” Thursday.

ForwardGro of Anne Arundel County is the only company licensed to grow MMJ in Maryland so far. The commission delayed licensing a second potential grower, Curio Wellness in Baltimore County, on Wednesday because the panel wanted additional information from the company.

It’s been a year since the commission awarded 15 preliminary growing licenses and 15 preliminary processing licenses. If those firms aren’t granted final licenses by Aug. 15, the commission could revoke the companies’ opportunity to do business in Maryland.

The commission’s executive director says the agency plans to approve more licenses after each applicant undergoes a final state inspection.

Maryland’s MMJ program has been plagued by controversy and lawsuits over how license-winning firms were chosen and whether minority-owned companies were given a fair opportunity to compete.

– Associated Press