Maryland MMJ Clinic Generating Controversy

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A Maryland clinic offering consulting services to prospective medical cannabis patients more than a year before the state’s MMJ program takes effect is drawing mixed reviews from industry and state officials.

Greenway Consultation – which provides information and guidance but doesn’t actually sell marijuana – opened its doors in June and has already seen more than 100 patients. It has a total of three consultants and three physicians, though none are registered with the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission to recommend MMJ to patients.

The fact that the clinic is consulting with patients before regulations on the program have been finalized has drawn criticism, according to a local TV station. Judy Pentz, the executive director of the state’s NORML chapter, said she is “very concerned” that Greenway is charging patients money at this stage of the game.

Patients initially pay $200 to meet with a physician for about 30 minutes, the TV station reported.

The state is expected to adopt regulations in September, and doctor and patient registries will start in December or January, according to the state. Dispensaries could open next summer.

Greenway’s spokesman said seeing patients before the program’s launch allows the clinic to build patient-doctor relationships, which will speed the recommendation process once the program begins. The firm also plans on hosting monthly educational meetings, in which executives from other cannabis businesses will be allowed to come and speak about the program and issues surrounding the MMJ industry.