Maryland cannabis regulators have now awarded full licenses to Baltimore’s first two medical marijuana providers.
Wyman Park’s Medical Products and Services, doing business as “Maggies,” and Federal Hill’s Pure Life Wellness were both approved for operating licenses yesterday by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, according to an updated list on the agency’s website. They’re among 12 dispensaries across the state that received approval Thursday, bringing the full count to 22.
They’re also the first two of 11 planned dispensaries for Baltimore City. It remains unclear when they plan to open their doors and begin serving patients. The operators of both businesses couldn’t be immediately reached Friday afternoon, and neither have responded to emails requesting comment.
As of Dec. 5, Maggies was still hashing out the details of a memorandum of understanding with neighbors in Wyman Park, according to the most recent neighborhood newsletter. Residents aired grievances earlier this year over the dispensary’s location on Keswick Road, though the proprietors have since been busy negotiating with the Wyman Park Neighborhood Association and Hampden Community Council on aspects like security, odor and the timeframe for the MOU.
While around a fifth of Maryland’s dispensaries now have the green light to sell cannabis to registered patients, weed is reportedly in short supply. The Washington Post reported on opening day, Dec. 1, that two dispensaries in Rockville and Cumberland had served some patients, but products were limited, and dispensaries were prioritizing sales to pre-registered patients as a result.
Short supply and high demand, under the rules of capitalism, means high prices. The Baltimore Sun’s Erin Cox quoted a lobbyist who said prices are ranging from $480 to $680 an ounce, far higher than rates paid in states like Colorado and California or even nearby D.C.
Maryland Department of Health spokeswoman Nikki Laska said in an email that just over 17,700 patients are now registered in Maryland, along with more than 700 caregivers.
The kickoff for Maryland’s medical marijuana industry comes amid a change in agency leadership. The cannabis commission recently hired Joy Strand, a former healthcare system executive in Crisfield, to be its new executive director. Its last one, former state trooper Patrick Jameson, resigned after 18 months on the job. Strand is the commission’s third executive director in two years.
The commission’s list of licensed dispensaries indicates Montgomery County has six and Howard County has four, with the rest spread across Allegany, Baltimore, Frederick, St. Mary’s and Worcester counties, as well as Baltimore City. A total of 102 are set to open sometime in the next year.
This story has been updated, and corrected to reflect that the Hampden Community Council, rather than the Hampden Village Merchants Association, has been working on the MOU with the dispensary owners.
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