Medical marijuana programs may reduce painkiller overdose deaths

Way back in 2013, the Ravens won the Super Bowl, the movie Sharknado created a minor Twitter storm, and the Maryland legislature approved medical marijuana. Now it’s 2016, the Ravens are a disaster, Sharknado feels like a retro treat, and we’re still not much closer to medical patients having access to cannabis.

As the Washington Post reports, progress has been slo o o w and full of setbacks–the latest being a decision to cap the number of businesses that will be allowed to process medical marijuana to 15; the number of growers has already been capped at 15. And while the state was supposed to issue those growing licenses back in January, they keep delaying the process–now it may not be until early fall. That means that even if all goes according to plan from now on, cannabis still won’t be available to approved patients until the middle of 2017.

Critics of the process cite these delays, as well as opaque decision-making processes and closed-door meetings. “We have been waiting patiently for the commission to do its work, but every day is a challenge when you’re watching your child seize, fall behind in school and lose ground,” Jennifer Porcari, the mother of a child with epilepsy, told the Post.

Perhaps some of the new research being funded by NFL players–including a current Raven–will help motivate the state to take action a little more quickly.