University Will Assist With Maryland MMJ Applications

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Prospective cultivators and dispensary owners seeking medical cannabis licenses in Maryland might be scrutinized by not only the state, but also possibly by university researchers.

Maryland has inked an agreement with Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI), which will help develop applications and assist in managing applicant evaluations, the Herald Mail reported.

The commission expects applications to be available in September, according to the newspaper.

The executive director of the commission said working with the institute will speed development and evaluation of applications.

Maryland lawmakers approved an MMJ bill in 2014 that revamped a previous program many saw as fatally flawed, and the state made a number of additional revisions to the new law earlier this year.

Some businesses already are gearing up for the launch of Maryland’s MMJ industry. Vast Organic Farms bought 26 acres with hopes it will win one of 15 licenses that will be awarded by the state. Green Thump Industries, which won cultivation permits in Illinois, has proposed an $8 million cultivation facility should it win a license.

Companies that want to enter the industry will have to pay hefty fees. Growers must shell out $250,000 for a two-year license while dispensaries will have to pay $80,000. The commission will likely award permits by the end of the year, and sales are expected to start in 2016.