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Marijuana Drug Diversion Programs

Marijuana LeafMarijuana Drug Diversion Programs

Can I get into a diversion program for marijuana possession?

The State’s Attorney for each county may have a Marijuana Drug Diversion Programs. In many jurisdictions, first time offenders in possession of small amounts of marijuana are eligible to participate in a diversion program rather than have a criminal trial. This option may result in the charges being dropped if you complete the diversion program. The Prosecution has the benefit of dealing with low level drug crimes so they can handle more serious crimes.

Each county’s diversion program is different and some require classes and community service. There are usually fees associated with each program. A drug diversion program is different than Drug Court, and you must speak with a criminal defense attorney before agreeing to any offer from the State’s attorney. The prosecutor does not have to offer a defendant a diversion program and the programs themselves can change depending on the State’s Attorney’s policy for drug crimes.

Each criminal case is different and a diversion program may be one of many options available to you. You must speak with an attorney as soon as you are charged with a crime to determine your best option.  You should not discuss the case with the State or the Police until you have met with an attorney.  This site is not affiliated with any state or local government entity and this site is for information only.

The following is a non-official list of counties and their marijuana drug diversion programs as of 2014.

Does Allegany County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Allegany County does have a diversion program for first time marijuana offenders.

Does Anne Arundel County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Anne Arundel County has a marijuana drug diversion program for first time offenders.  The program requires participation in a state approved drug program. Drug Court is also available in certain circumstances.

Does Baltimore City have a diversion program for marijuana?

Baltimore City has a first time offender program for marijuana possession.  The two day program includes an information session at the courthouse followed by a day of community service picking up litter. Baltimore City has a many programs available for for drug offenses each usually requires a drug abuse evaluation, community service and periodic drug tests.

Does Baltimore County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Baltimore County has a marijuana drug diversion program for first time offenders only.  If the defendant is eligible, the State’s Attorney will refer the defendant for an evaluation and upon completion of treatment the charges may be dropped.

Does Caroline County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Caroline County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Calvert County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Calvert County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Carroll County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Carroll County does have a diversion program for first time marijuana offenders.  There are fees associated with the program.

Does Cecil County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Cecil County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Dorchester County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Dorchester County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Frederick County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Frederick County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Garrett County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Garrett County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Harford County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Harford County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Howard County have a diversion program for marijuana?

In Howard County first time minor marijuana possession charges are eligible for a diversion program.

Does Kent County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Kent County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Montgomery County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Montgomery County offers first time offenders with a minor drug offense a diversion program.  You will normally have to do some community service.

Does Prince Georges County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Prince Georges County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Queen Anne’s County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Queen Anne’s  County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does St. Mary’s County have a diversion program for marijuana?

St. Mary’s County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Somerset County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Somerset County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Talbot County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Talbot County does not have a published drug diversion program.  Speak with a criminal defense attorney to determine the options that may be available to you.

Does Washington County have a diversion program for marijuana?

In Washington County diversion is available for the first marijuana possession charge.

Does Wicomico County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Wicomico County has a diversion program rather than a trial for first time minor marijuana offenses.

Does Worcester County have a diversion program for marijuana?

Worcester County has a drug diversion program but it is usually must be requested.  The program includes a drug abuse evaluation and a recommended treatment program.  The program includes random drug screens and community service.

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Maryland Marijuana Citation

Maryland Marijuana Citation MPL logo

Section § 4-101 of the Maryland criminal procedure code allows certain charges by citation such as possession of marijuana under 10 grams.

A police officer must charge a possession of marijuana case under 10 grams by citation instead of arrest if

1) the officer is satisfied with the defendant’s evidence of identity;
2) the officer reasonably believes that the defendant will comply with the citation;
3) the officer reasonably believes that the failure to charge on a statement of charges will not pose a threat to public safety;
4) the defendant is not subject to arrest for another criminal charge arising out of the same incident; and
5) the defendant complies with all lawful orders by the officer.

However, a police officer who has grounds to make a warrantless arrest for an offense that may be charged by citation may: issue a citation in lieu of making the arrest; or make the arrest and subsequently issue a citation in lieu of continued custody.

A marijuana citation may be charging you with a crime and a finding of guilty for a Maryland marijuana citation for possession of 10 grams of marijuana or more could subject you to up to one year and or a $1,000 fine. There are also other consequences like losing federal benefits, financial aid for education, welfare benefits and public housing. A Maryland marijuana citation could impact your career as a teacher, child care provider, law enforcement officer or any other position of trust that requires a background check. See our Marijuana FAQ page. 

If you received a Maryland marijuana citation you should contact an experienced marijuana defense lawyer to help you limit these consequences and defend yourself against these charges.

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Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Announces License Winners

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has announced the first round of Grower and Processor Licenses for pre-approval.

The Commissioners’ selections for Grower entities and locations are:

Curio Cultivation of Baltimore County

Doctors Orders Maryland of Dorchester County

Forward Gro of Anne Arundel County

Freestate Wellness of Howard County

Greenleaf Medical of Frederick County

Grow West MD of Garrett County

Harvest of Maryland of Washington County

HMS Health of Frederick County

Holistic Industries of Prince George’s County

Kind Therapeutics USA of Washington County

Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness of Carroll County

MaryMed of Dorchester County

Shore Natural RX of Worcester County

SunMed Growers of Cecil County; and

Temescal Wellness of MD of Baltimore City.

The Processor entities and locations are:

AFS Maryland LLC Wicomico County
Blair Wellness Center LLC Worcester County
Chesapeake Alternatives LLC Queen Anne’s County
Curio Manufacturing LLC Baltimore County
Doctors Orders Maryland LLC Dorchester County
FGM Processing LLC Charles County
Holistic Industries LLC Prince George’s County
Kind Therapeutics USA LLC Washington County
Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC Carroll County
MaryMed LLC Dorchester County
Pharmaculture Corporation Allegany County
Pro Green Medical LLC Frederick County
Rosebud Organics LLC Montgomery County
Seven Points

Agro-Therapeutics LLC

Prince George’s County
Temescal Wellness of MD Baltimore City

The locations of the Growers and Processors span 16 counties and Baltimore City (see map), including Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester. Many Grower applicants who were highly qualified were not pre-approved due to statutory limitations on the number of growers.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s Executive Director, Patrick Jameson stated, “Now that the Commissioners have made their selections, the real work begins for these companies. We will implement a rigorous Stage Two background and financial due diligence process for these entities prior to issuing a license.  A pre-approval is not a license. I truly look forward to facilitating this nascent state wide industry and working with local, city, and county jurisdictions and with the principals of these organizations.” The Commissioners will vote for licensure once compliance with the regulatory requirements is complete.

The Growers will cultivate a variety of strains ranging in cannabinoid content from a low to high spectrum of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), and the Processors will be manufacturing a wide variety of cannabis-infused products containing high and low CBD and THC extracts and in a variety of modes of administration. These pharmaceutical grade products will include oral forms such as oils, pills, capsules, tinctures; sublingual sprays; inhaled products and topical forms such as ointments, salves, and transdermal patches.

MMCC also commissioned the Towson University, Regional Economic Studies Institute “RESI” to coordinate the review of the Dispensary Applications by subject matter experts and to utilize the same process as for the Grower and Processor applications such as compiling the scores and application rankings. The Commissioners will review and vote on the Dispensaries (two per Senatorial district and potentially 15 additional for Growers who wish to be vertically integrated) with medicine tentatively becoming available by the summer of 2017.

Dr. Davies continued, “While we are aware there is a public interest in the rankings of the Grower and Processor applications, the rankings were merely used as an organizational tool.  The Commission will list the entities in alphabetical order. All of the chosen business entities have an equal opportunity to complete the licensing process.  At this stage, I am very happy with the Commissioners’ choices.”

Maryland received 145 grower applications, 124 processor applications and 811 dispensary license applications. Again, MMCC commissioned RESI to contract with third-party subject matter experts from around the United States to evaluate the applications using a double-blinded process. RESI assigned unique identifying numbers to each application prior to evaluation and review by subject matter experts and Commissioners. Application content comprised text and supporting documents redacted of all identifying information such as individual or entity applicant names and locations.  Once evaluated and scored by the subject matter experts, RESI compiled the scores and ranked the applications. The scored and ranked redacted Grower and Processor applications were then provided to Commissioners for review and final selection.

The 15 Grower and Processor potential licensees will continue on to Stage Two of the approval process, which will include extensive financial due diligence and background investigations by the MMCC of all those named in the original application and any other principals. Each entity that was issued a pre-approval will have 365 days from date of notification to complete all necessary steps to obtain a formal license and to request final inspection by the Commission. These steps include completing regulatory requirements, raising capital, acquiring real estate, securing local zoning approvals, construction of facilities, installation of equipment, and the hiring and training of staff.

All applicants, including those who did not receive pre-approvals, were notified as to the status of their application by email and U.S. mail today by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

 

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New Maryland marijuana civil citation law – taking a step backward

New Maryland marijuana civil citation law goes into effect October 1, 2016

The Maryland legislature took a step backward a gave the Maryland marijuana civil citation new teeth that may make a marijuana civil citation a bit more Serious.

Here are the highlights:

If you are under 21 and a received a citation for possession of marijuana less than 10 grams:

You must appear in court rather than prepay a fine.  A judge may impose a fine and drug treatment, an assessment or participation in drug education program.  (You should consult an attorney before using health insurance to pay for any of these programs).

If you fail to appear for court the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you may also face a penalty of 90 days in jail or a $500 fine or both.

A court may now keep a citation open (aka “sub curia”) pending receipt of proof that you completed a court approved drug treatment, drug education program, or an assessment.

(If you receive a marijuana citation on a college campus you should contact an attorney immediately)

If you are 21 or over and a received a Maryland marijuana civil citation for possession less than 10 grams:

A person over the age of 21 that has been found guilty twice previously of possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana will have to appear before the court.  If you fail to appear for court the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you may also face a penalty of 90 days in jail or a $500 fine or both.

All Maryland marijuana civil citation:

Citations must now include the name, address and date of birth of the person charged.  Failure to include this information may require the court to dismiss the citation.

The State’s Attorney is authorized to prosecute these civil citations and may decline to prosecute (nolle prosecui) or place the case on the Stet docket which means the case may be reopened within a year and only for good cause after one year.

The State has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence (not reasonable doubt).

The Court may assess court costs of $5 in addition to a fine.

More bad news:

Currently the citations do not show up on Maryland Judiciary Case Search and the case is not open to public inspection.  The new law continues to shield the case from the public view if it is dismissed, the state declines to prosecute (nolle prosecui), or if you are found “not guilty.”  But in other dispositions shielding will only occur if certain conditions are met.  The new law seems to allow the case to appear on the public record and possibly the internet if:

  1. The Defendant does not pre-pay the fine
  2. The Defendant pleads guilty but does not pay the fine and costs
  3. A person receives a Probation Before Judgment but fails to pay the fine and costs and completed the terms imposed by the court. (it is not clear what terms a court may impose to a person 21 years or older).
  4. The case has been removed from the Stet docket after the fines and costs are paid.
    1. This is the most worrying outcome as a case may remain on the Stet docket until the state or the Defendant asks that it be taken off the Stet docket. Either the state or you may request the case be re-opened within one year, but after one year “good cause” must be shown to remove the case from the Stet docket. Therefore, it may remain online for a very long time.

The “good news” for Maryland marijuana civil citation

The court is required to apply the same evidentary standards as prescribed by rule or law for the trial of a criminal case. (Presumably these means the state will have to produce a chemist report indicating an expert has actually identified the substance as marijuana. This may also mean that your 5th amendment right to remain silent and not testify may be honored.  It will be interesting to see how judges interpret this section.)

The court will make sure you received a copy of the charges and explain the charges.

You may cross examine all witnesses who appear against you, produce your own evidence or witnesses on your behalf, and you may choose to testify on your own behalf.

You also have the right to be represented by counsel of your choice at your expense.  That means a public defender may not represent you.

Here is a link to the current Maryland marijuana civil citation

Marijuana Possession is still Illegal under Federal Law

Under federal law, marijuana possession in any amount and for any reason is still illegal. You must be careful to preserve your rights when interacting with law enforcement as you may be dealing with a federal agent rather than a Maryland police officer. There is no similar civil citation for marijuana possession in the federal system.

*Please note that this information is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you receive a Maryland marijuana civil citation.

 

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Maryland Industrial Hemp

Industrial Hemp in Maryland is still illegal. In May 2015, a bill was signed into law legalizing Maryland Industrial Hemp contingent on the Federal Government passing the Federal Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.  If the federal law or similar law passes, then beginning October 1, 2015, persons in Maryland may plant, grow, harvest, possess, sell or buy industrial hemp.

If the Federal Law is passed, the Maryland Industrial Hemp law will go into effect.

UPDATE: As of March 24, 2016 the Federal Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 has not been passed and remains in Committee.

Maryland Industrial Hemp Definition

Industrial hemp is the plant Cannabis Sativa L. and any part of the that plant whether growing or not with a Delta 9 Tertahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0,3% on a dry weight basis.
If the Maryland Industrial Hemp bill becomes law then a grower will have to register with the Department of Agriculture.
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CARERS Act of 2015

CARERS Act of 2015 – proposed Federal Law to revamp Marijuana Laws

It is sometimes hard to believe how far we have come as a country with our views on marijuana.  There are now four states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational marijuana, and many States have laws regulating Medical Marijuana.

Now the Federal Government is beginning to change it’s perspective.  The CARERS Act of 2015 was introduced in the United States Senate on March 10, 2015 to address the conflict between State’s marijuana laws and the Federal Government’s draconian rules against cannabis.

The bill, if passed, will fix several problems medical marijuana advocates have identified.

Redefining Cannabis – The CARERS ACT of 2015 reschedules marijuana from a schedule I drug (heroin and LSD) to a schedule II drug, which will allow  for more research on cannabis.

Banking – The CARERS ACT of 2015 protects banks from facing criminal sanctions, regulatory sanctions and forfeiture for doing business with legitimate marijuana related businesses.

State’s Rights – The CARERS ACT of 2015 allows persons in compliance with State law relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, laboratory testing, or delivery of medical marijuana to be free of the penalties under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

Although I personally doubt the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015 will pass this year, it is a huge step, on a relatively bi-partisan issue that would help millions of people.

The full text of the CARERS ACT of 2015 is here.

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How to get medical marijuana in Maryland

How to get medical marijuana in Maryland

To get medical marijuana in Maryland, you will need a certified physician to recommend medical marijuana for treatment of certain medical conditions.

The Maryland Medical Marijuana rules have yet to be approved.  Once the regulations are approved the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission will issue certificates for physicians to recommend medical marijuana in Maryland.

What medical conditions are covered?

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has proposed the following medical conditions to treat and relieve symptoms of these conditions.

PTSD and Glaucoma

A patient with the following diseases and conditions:
(a) Glaucoma, if  the certifying physician is a board certified ophthalmologist  or
(b) Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), if the certifying physician is a board certified psychiatrist.

Certain conditions and symptoms

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or are receiving treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
(a) Cachexia
(b) Anorexia
(c) Wasting syndrome
(d) Severe pain
(e) Severe nausea
(f) Seizures or
(g) Severe persistent muscle spasms.

Hospice and Palliative Care

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in the patient being admitted into hospice
or receiving palliative care.

Other Conditions

A certified physician may treat a patient who has a condition this is:
(1) Severe
(2) For which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and
(3) If the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of marijuana.
How to get medical marijuana in Maryland is an ongoing issue but we should have final regulations soon.
These regulations are still in the proposal stage so they are not yet final.  This is an update on the proposal process and is for informational purposes.  You should seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for more information.
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Maryland Marijuana Dispensary

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has released proposed regulations for Maryland Marijuana Dispensary licenses.

These are the proposed regulations for dispensing medical marijuana in Maryland as of February 7, 2015 and are subject to change.  These regulations have yet to be approved and anyone interested in seeking a Maryland Marijuana Dispensary License should consult a Maryland lawyer or more information.

Maryland Marijuana Dispensary Maryland Regulations

10.62.15 Licensed Dispensary and Licensed Processing Dispensary

Authority: Health General Article, §§13–3301 and 13–3310, Annotated Code of Maryland

.01 Definitions.

  1. In this chapter the following terms have the meanings indicated.
  2. Terms Defined.

(1) “Audited financial statement” means an audited financial statement that is performed by a certified public accountant licensed or with practice privileges in Maryland pursuant to Title 2 of the Business Occupations and Professions Code that is prepared in accordance with the Professional Standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and in the case of a publicly owned corporation in conformity with the standards of the Public Company Oversight Board.

(2) “Footnoted financial statement” means the presentation of information that includes

(a) In the case of an individual, a personal balance sheet as of the end of the year prior to the submission of an application for a license under this subtitle by certified public accountant licensed or with practice privileges in Maryland pursuant to Title 2 of the Business Occupations and Professions Code which contains a footnote that none of the assets included therein result from illegal activities; and

(b) In the case of a company or partnership, an audited financial statement which contains a footnote that none of the assets included therein result from illegal activities.

(3) “License” means a license issued by the Commission to operate as a licensed dispensary or a licensed processing dispensary.

(4) “Licensee” means a licensed dispensary or licensed processing dispensary.

.02 Application.

  1. An applicant shall submit an application for a license in a manner determined by the Commission.
  2. The application shall specify the applicant’s intent to operate as:

(1) A licensed dispensary to distribute medical marijuana to qualifying patients and caregivers;

(2) A licensed processing dispensary; or

(3) Both a licensed processing dispensary and a licensed dispensary.

  1. An application to be a licensed dispensary or licensed processing dispensary shall include:

(1) Identification of:

(a) The applicant’s potential dispensary agents; and

(b) Each individual investor with 5 percent or more of investment known at the time of application;

(2) A business plan including an organizational chart;

(3) Documentation and source of adequate capitalization;

(4) If the applicant is a corporation, a copy of the articles of incorporation and authorization to do business in Maryland;

(5) A record of tax payments in all jurisdictions in which an applicant has operated as a business for the 5 years before the filing of the application;

(6) A description of the proposed premises, including a preliminary site plan;

(7) A security plan;

(8) A plan for quality control;

(9) A plan for inventorying, safekeeping and tracking medical marijuana from entry into inventory to sale or disposal of medical marijuana waste;

(10) A plan for the disposal of medical marijuana waste; and

(11) A plan for training employees and volunteers.

  1. An application to operate as a licensed dispensary to distribute medical marijuana to qualifying patients and caregivers shall include:

(1) A plan for counseling qualifying patients and caregivers in the use of medical marijuana; and

(2) The medical marijuana varieties proposed to be dispensed with proposed cannabinoid profiles and evidence of success in alleviating symptoms of specific diseases or conditions.

  1. An application to operate as a licensed processing dispensary shall include:

(1) Details of the applicant’s experience, knowledge, and training in the operation of a laboratory; and

(2) A plan of the medical marijuana concentrates and medical marijuana-infused products proposed to be manufactured and the processes to be used.

  1. The application shall be accompanied by the stage 1 application fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.
  2. Any party applying for a license shall have an interest in only one license application.
  3. An applicant has a continuing duty to amend an application within 3 business days to include the name and documentation of a request to forward the criminal history record information and footnoted financial statement to the Commission of a new individual investor of an interest of 5 percent or more, or another manager or director of the entity, even after a license is issued.

.03 Licensed Grower Acting as a Dispensary.

At a licensed grower premises or approved grower satellite premises, a licensed grower may dispense medical marijuana in conformity with this subtitle.

.04 Criminal History Record Request.

For each individual identified in the application specified in Regulation .02C(1) of this chapter, an applicant shall provide to the Director of the Central Repository:

  1. Two sets of legible fingerprints taken in a format approved by the Director of CJIS and the Director of the FBI and the fee authorized under Criminal Procedure Article, §10-221(B)(7), Annotated Code of Maryland, for access to State criminal history and records for each dispensary agent and investor identified in the application; and
  2. A request that the individual’s state and national criminal history record information be forwarded to the Commission.

.05 Consent for Investigation.

  1. An individual who is required to provide personal and background information under this chapter shall provide a statement that irrevocably gives consent to the Commission and persons authorized by the Commission to:

(1) Verify all information provided in the application documents; and

(2) Conduct a background investigation of the individual.

  1. An applicant shall authorize the Commission to have access to any and all information the applicant has provided to any other jurisdiction while seeking a similar license in that other jurisdiction, as well as the information obtained by that other jurisdiction during the course of any investigation it may have conducted regarding the applicant.

.06 Application Review.

  1. The burden of proving an applicant’s qualifications rests on the applicant.
  2. The Commission may deny an application that contains a misstatement, omission, misrepresentation, or untruth.
  3. An application shall be complete in every material detail.
  4. The Commission may request any additional information the Commission determines is necessary to process and fully investigate an application.
  5. The applicant shall provide additional requested information by the close of business of the 14th business day after the request has been received by the applicant.
  6. If the applicant does not provide the requested information within 14 business days, the Commission may consider the application to be suspended.
  7. An application is not complete until the Commission receives:

(1) The criminal history record information required in Regulation .04 of this chapter; and

(2) Any required or requested attachment or supplemental information.

  1. The Commission, or a Commission approved third party, shall:

(1) Review completed applications for a license to be a licensed dispensary; and

(2) Rank the applications using an impartial and numerically scored competitive bidding process developed by the Commission based on the following criteria:

(a) Racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the applicants;

(b) Status of the applicants as a Minority Business Enterprise, as defined in State Finance and Procurement Article, §14-301, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(c) Status of the applicants as a veteran or military spouse, as defined in Health Occupations Article, §1-701, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(d) Quality of proposed safety and security procedures;

(e) The medical marijuana varieties proposed to be dispensed with proposed cannabinoid profiles, including varieties with high cannabidiol content;

(f) Quality of the quality control plan;

(g) Quality of the inventory control plan;

(h) Quality of the plan to dispose of medical marijuana waste;

(i) Quality of the plan to dispense medical marijuana;

(j) Quality of the plan to counsel qualifying patients and caregivers in the use of medical marijuana;

(k) Quality of the plan to utilize the clinical director and to train dispensary agents;

(l) Quality of the plan to enforce the alcohol and drug free workplace policy;

(m) Quality of the business plan;

(n) Demonstration of adequate capitalization;

(o) Maryland residency of the applicant; and

(p) If applicable, history of payment of income taxes in Maryland and other jurisdictions.

  1. The Commission, or a Commission approved third party, shall:

(1) Review completed applications for a license to be a licensed processing dispensary; and

(2) Rank the applications using an impartial and numerically scored competitive bidding process developed by the Commission based on the following criteria:

(a) Racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of the applicants;

(b) Status of the applicants as a Minority Business Enterprise, as defined in State Finance and Procurement Article, §14-301, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(c) Status of the applicants as a veteran or military spouse, as defined in Health Occupations Article, §1-701, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(d) Quality of proposed safety and security procedures;

(e) The medical marijuana concentrates and medical marijuana-infused products proposed to be manufactured with proposed cannabinoid profiles;

(f) Quality of the quality control plan;

(g) Quality of the inventory control plan;

(h) Quality of the plan to dispose of medical marijuana waste;

(i) Quality of the plan to process and package medical marijuana;

(j) Nature of applicant’s experience operating a laboratory;

(k) Quality of the plan to enforce the alcohol and drug free workplace policy;

(l) Quality of the business plan;

(m) Demonstration of adequate capitalization;

(n) Maryland residency of the applicant; and

(o) If applicable, history of payment of income taxes in Maryland and other jurisdictions.

.07 Pre-Approval of License Application.

  1. Number of Pre-approvals.

(1) In consideration of the ranking of the applications in accordance with Regulation .06, the Commission may issue pre-approvals of up to two licensed dispensaries, other than as a licensed processing dispensary that does not dispense medical marijuana to qualifying patients, per Senatorial district after taking into consideration the number of grower premises or grower satellite premises licensed to dispense medical marijuana located in the Senatorial district.

(2) The Commission shall pre-approve a number of licenses for licensed processing dispensaries sufficient to supply the demand for medical marijuana concentrates and medical marijuana-infused products in a range of routes of administration desired by qualifying patients.

  1. If there are more qualified applications than the number of licenses available and there is a numerical tie for the last license to be issued, the last pre-approved license shall be determined by public lottery.
  2. The Commission may deny issuing a pre-approval of a license if, for any individual identified in the application specified in Regulation .02C(1) of this chapter:

(1) The criminal history record information demonstrates an absence of good moral character; or

(2) The payment of taxes due in any jurisdiction is in arrears.

  1. Within 10 business days of the Commission’s decision, the Commission shall notify applicants who have been pre-approved for a license.

.08 Issuance of License.

  1. After an applicant has been issued a pre-approval for a license under this chapter the applicant shall submit to the Commission, as part of its application:

(1) A footnoted financial statement for each individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity review that has invested, or is proposed to invest, 5 percent or more of the capital of the applicant;

(2) Evidence of adequate surety bond and insurance; and

(3) Payment of the stage 2 application fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

  1. The Commission may issue a license either to be a licensed dispensary distributing directly to patients or to be a licensed processing dispensary on a determination that:

(1) The footnoted financial statement submitted regarding the applicant individuals and entities specified in Regulation .02C(1) of this chapter reveal no evidence that demonstrates the absence of good moral character;

(2) All inspections are passed and all of the applicant’s operations conform to the specifications of the application as pre-approved pursuant to Regulation .07 of this chapter;

(3) The proposed premises:

(a) Are under the legal control of the applicant;

(b) Comply with all zoning and planning requirements; and

(c) Conform to the specifications of the application as pre-approved pursuant to Regulation .07 of this chapter; and

(4) The first installment of the biennial license fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28 has been paid.

.09 Change of Ownership of License.

  1. No interest of 5 percent or more of a license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be assignable or transferable unless:

(1) The Commission has received notice in a manner determined by the Commission of the intent of the owner of the interest, or of the estate of the owner of the interest, to transfer or assign an interest in a license to another party;

(2) The transferee has had forwarded the criminal history record information and footnoted financial statement to the Commission of the transferee;

(3) The Commission does not object to the transfer or assignment within 180 business days of its receipt of notice; and

(4) The transferee has paid the required fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

  1. The Commission may deny transfer of an interest in a license if, for any proposed transferee:

(1) The criminal history record information or the background investigation demonstrates an absence of good moral character; or

(2) The payment of taxes due in any jurisdiction is in arrears.

.10 Change of Location.

  1. A licensee may apply to change the location of the licensee’s operation.
  2. The application shall be made in a manner determined by the Commission and accompanied by the fee as specified in COMAR 10.62.28.
  3. A licensee may not begin dispensing or processing medical marijuana at a new location until all inspections have been passed.

.11 Renewal of License.

  1. A licensee is eligible to apply to renew a license every 2 years.
  2. Ninety business days before the expiration of a license, the Commission shall notify the licensee of the:

(1) Date on which the license expires;

(2) Process and the fee required to renew the license; and

(3) Consequences of a failure to renew the license.

  1. A licensee who fails to apply for renewal of a license by the date specified by the Commission:

(1) Shall cease operations at all premises; and

(2) May not provide medical marijuana to any entity or person.

  1. A license may be reinstated upon:

(1) Payment of the fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28; and

(2) Submission of a reinstatement application approved by the Commission.

  1. At least 30 business days before a license expires a licensee shall submit:

(1) The renewal application as provided by the Commission;

(2) Proof that fingerprints have been submitted to CJIS and the FBI for every dispensary agent and investor of an interest of 5 percent or more;

(3) To full inspection of the operation, unless a full inspection was satisfactorily completed within 3 months before the date of the license expiration; and

(4) Payment of the fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

  1. The Commission shall renew a license that meets the requirements for renewal as stated in §E of this regulation.
  2. If the Commission does not renew a license due to a failed inspection or an inadequate application for renewal, the licensee may apply for reinstatement by:

(1) Submitting a plan to correct the deficiencies noted during an inspection; and

(2) Amending the application for renewal.

  1. The Commission may decline to renew a license if:

(1) The plan to correct deficiencies identified in an inspection is deficient;

(2) The amended application for renewal is deficient; or

(3) The licensee has repeatedly failed inspections.

 

Categories
News

Medical Marijuana Grower Agent

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has released proposed regulations for Medical Marijuana Grower  Agent Maryland licenses.

These are the proposed regulations for a Medical Marijuana Grower Agent in Maryland as of February 7, 2015 and are subject to change.  These regulations have yet to be approved and anyone interested in being a Medical Marijuana Grower Agent should consult a Maryland lawyer or more information.

Medical Marijuana Grower Agent Maryland Regulations

10.62.07 Medical Marijuana Grower Agents

Authority: Health General Article, §§13-3301, 13-3302, 13-3309, and 13-3312, Annotated Code of Maryland

.01 Definitions.

  1. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
  2. Terms Defined.

(1) “License” means a license issued by the Commission to operate as a grower.

(2) “Licensee” means a licensed grower.

.02 Grower Agent Generally.

A grower agent shall be at least 21 years of age.

.03 Grower Agent Registration and Criminal History Record.

  1. Each medical marijuana grower agent shall be registered with the Commission before the agent may volunteer or work for a licensed grower.
  2. A licensed grower shall apply to register a grower agent by submitting to the Commission in a manner to be determined by the Commission:

(1) The name, address and date of birth of a grower agent;

(2) Documentation of the submission of fingerprints of the grower agent to the Central Registry; and

(3) The request for the criminal history record information of the grower agent to be forwarded to the Natalie M. LaPrade Commission.

  1. A prospective grower agent may not be registered if the prospective grower agent has ever been convicted of a felony drug offense.
  2. The Commission, after review of the criminal history record information, may disqualify any prospective grower agent from registration for an absence of good moral character.

.04 Registered Grower Agent Identification Cards.

  1. The Commission shall issue to each registered grower agent a registration card which shall include a photograph of the face of the registered grower agent taken no more than 6 months before the date of the application.
  2. At all times every registered grower agent at a licensed premises shall visibly wear the identification card issued to the registered grower agent by the Commission.
  3. The identification card shall be renewed every 2 years.
  4. If a registered grower agent’s identification card is lost, destroyed or stolen, within 24 hours of becoming aware of the loss, destruction or theft, the licensee shall:

(1) Report the loss, destruction or theft to a local law enforcement agency and the Commission;

(2) Apply for a replacement card; and

(3) Pay a replacement card fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

  1. An identification card remains the property of the Commission and the Commission may order the return or seizure of an identification card if the registration is revoked or expires.
  2. If a registered grower agent’s identification card is lost, destroyed or stolen, a police report and a copy of notification to the Commission shall be evidence of registration until a new card is obtained from the Commission.

.05 Termination.

  1. As soon as possible upon termination of a registered grower agent’s association with a licensed grower, the licensed grower shall:

(1) Take custody of a terminated registered grower agent’s identification card;

(2) Obtain any keys or other entry devices from a terminated registered grower agent; and

(3) Ensure a terminated registered grower agent can no longer gain access to the licensed premises.

  1. Within 1 business day of a termination of a registered grower agent’s association with a licensed grower, a licensed grower shall:

(1) Notify the Commission in a manner to be determined by the Commission:

(a) Of a termination and the circumstances of a termination; and

(b) Whether a terminated registered grower agent has returned the agent’s registration card; and

(2) Initiate delivery of a terminated registered grower agent’s identification card to the Commission.

  1. The Commission shall revoke a registration of a grower agent upon receiving notification that a grower agent is no longer associated with a licensed grower.
  2. If a registered grower agent did not return the agent’s registration card within 30 days of the termination, the Commission shall place a notice in the register of that fact.

.06 Prospective Grower Agent Drug Screen.

  1. The licensee shall require a prospective grower agent to submit to a drug screen before commencement of association.
  2. The drug screen shall be carried out following the procedures set forth in COMAR 17.04.09.04—.08.
  3. In addition to the drugs to be screened in accordance with COMAR 17.04.09.06, the screen shall include:

(1) Illegal synthetic cannabinoids and compounds as required by the Commission; and

(2) Any other drugs as required by the Commission.

  1. Unless medically justified, a prospective grower agent who has a positive response to any tested substance on a drug screen that meets the requirements of COMAR 17.04.09.07 may not be registered by the Commission.

.07 Grower Agent Training.

  1. The licensee shall train all registered grower agents on:

(1) Federal and State medical marijuana laws and regulations, and laws and regulations pertinent to pesticide application, groundwater, and other laws related to the agent’s responsibilities;

(2) Standard operating procedures;

(3) Detection and prevention of diversion of medical marijuana;

(4) Security procedures; and

(5) Safety procedures, including responding to a medical emergency, a fire, a chemical spill, and a threatening event such as an armed robbery, invasion, burglary or other criminal incident.

  1. The licensee shall retain training materials and make the training materials available for inspection by the Commission.

.08 Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace Policy.

  1. Each registered grower agent shall declare in writing that the registered grower agent will adhere to the State alcohol and drug free workplace policy, as identified in COMAR 21.11.08.03.
  2. The licensee shall retain the declaration in a registered grower agent’s personnel record.

.09 Annual Verification of Registered Grower Agents.

Every year, on a date determined by the Commission, the licensee shall notify the Commission in a manner determined by the Commission that the licensee has verified that no registered grower agent has been convicted of a felony drug offense.

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News

Medical Marijuana Grower Maryland

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has released proposed regulations for Medical Marijuana Grower  Maryland licenses.

These are the proposed regulations for Medical Marijuana Grower in Maryland as of February 7, 2015 and are subject to change.  These regulations have yet to be approved and anyone interested in being a medical marijuana grower in Maryland should consult a Maryland lawyer or more information.

Medical Marijuana Grower Maryland Regulations

10.62.06 Medical Marijuana Grower Maryland License

Authority: Health General Article, §§13-3302, 13-3309, and 13-3312, Annotated Code of Maryland

.01 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) “Audited financial statement” means an audited financial statement that is:

(a) Performed by a certified public accountant licensed or with practice privileges in Maryland pursuant to Business Occupations and Professions Article, Title 2, Annotated Code of Maryland; (b) Prepared in accordance with the Professional Standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and

(b) In the case of a publicly owned corporation, in conformity with the standards of the Public Company Oversight Board.

(2) “Footnoted financial statement” means the presentation of information that includes

(a) In the case of an individual, a personal balance sheet as of the end of the year before the submission of an application for a license under this subtitle by certified public accountant licensed or with practice privileges in Maryland pursuant to Business Occupations and Professions Article, Title 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, which contains a footnote that none of the assets included therein result from illegal activities; and

(b) In the case of a company or partnership, an audited financial statement which contains a footnote that none of the assets included therein result from illegal activities.

(3) “License” means a license issued by the Commission to operate as a grower.

(4) “Licensee” means a licensed grower.

.02 Application for a Medical Marijuana Grower License.

A. An applicant shall submit an application for a license in a manner determined by the Commission.

B. An application shall include:

(1) Identification of applicant’s potential medical marijuana grower agents and each individual investor with 5 percent or more of investment known at the time of application;

(2) A business plan including an organizational chart;

(3) Documentation and source of adequate capitalization;

(4) If the applicant is a corporation, a copy of the articles of incorporation and authorization to do business in Maryland;

(5) A record of tax payments in all jurisdictions in which an applicant has operated as a business for the 5 years before the filing of the application;

(6) A description of the proposed premises, including a preliminary site plan;

(7) A security plan;

(8) Details of the applicant’s experience, knowledge, and training in commercial horticultural or agronomic production;

(9) The medical marijuana varieties proposed to be grown with proposed cannabinoid profiles and evidence of success in alleviating symptoms of specific diseases or conditions;

(10) A plan for quality control;

(11) A plan for inventorying, safekeeping and tracking:

(a) Medical marijuana from “seed to sale,” and

(b) Waste plant material prior to destruction; and

(12) A disposal plan for medical marijuana waste.

C. A grower planning to operate as a dispensary of medical marijuana shall submit a dispensary application.

D. The application shall be accompanied by the stage 1 application fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

E. Any party applying for a license shall have an interest in only one license application.

F. An applicant has a continuing duty to amend an application within 3 business days to include the name and documentation of a request to forward the criminal history record information and footnoted financial statement to the Commission of a new individual investor of an interest of 5 percent or more, or another manager or director of the entity, even after a license is issued.

.03 Criminal History Record Check.

For each individual identified in the application specified in Regulation .02B(1) of this chapter, an applicant shall provide to the Director of the Central Repository:

A. Two sets of legible fingerprints taken in a format approved by the Director of CJIS and the Director of the FBI and the fee authorized under section 10-221(B)(7) of the Criminal Procedure article for access to State criminal history and records for each medical marijuana grower agent and investor identified in the application; and

B. A request that the individual’s state and national criminal history record information be forwarded to the Commission.

.04 Consent for Investigation.

A. An individual who is required to provide personal and background information under this chapter shall provide a statement that irrevocably gives consent to the Commission and persons authorized by the Commission to:

(1) Verify all information provided in the application documents; and

(2) Conduct a background investigation of the individual.

B. An applicant shall authorize the Commission to have access to any and all information the applicant has provided to any other jurisdiction while seeking a similar license in that other jurisdiction, as well as the information obtained by that other jurisdiction during the course of any investigation it may have conducted regarding the applicant.

.05 Application Review.

A. The burden of proving an applicant’s qualifications rests on the applicant.

B. The Commission may deny an application that contains a misstatement, omission, misrepresentation, or untruth.

C. An application shall be complete in every material detail.

D. The Commission may request any additional information the Commission determines is necessary to process and fully investigate an application.

E. The applicant shall provide requested additional information by the close of business of the 14th business day after the request has been received by the applicant.

F. If the applicant does not provide the requested information within 14 business days, the Commission may consider the application to be suspended.

G. An application is not complete until the Commission receives:

(1) The criminal history record information required in Regulation .03 of this chapter; and

(2) Any required or requested attachment or supplemental information.

H. The Commission, or a Commission approved third party, shall review completed applications for a license and rank the applications using an impartial and numerically scored competitive bidding process developed by the Commission based on the following criteria:

(1) The proposed location in an agricultural zone;

(2) Racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity;

(3) Status as a Minority Business Enterprise, as defined in State Finance and Procurement Article, §14-301, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(4) Status as a veteran or military spouse, as defined in Health Occupations Article, §1-701, Annotated Code of Maryland;

(5) Quality of proposed safety and security procedures;

(6) The medical marijuana varieties proposed to be grown with proposed cannabinoid profiles, including varieties with high cannabidiol content, and evidence of success in alleviating symptoms of specific diseases or conditions;

(7) Quality of the plan to grow, cure, process and package medical marijuana;

(8) Quality of experience, knowledge, and training in commercial horticultural or agricultural production;

(9) Quality of quality control plan;

(10) Quality of inventory control plan;

(11) Quality of medical marijuana waste disposal plan;

(12) Quality of plan to enforce the alcohol and drug free workplace policy;

(13) Quality of the business plan;

(14) Demonstration of adequate capitalization;

(15) Maryland residency; and

(16) If applicable, history of payment of income taxes in Maryland and other jurisdictions.

.06 Pre-Approval of Application.

A. Limitation on number of licenses:

(1) Until May 31, 2016, in accordance with Health General Article, §13-3309(a)(2), Annotated Code of Maryland, in consideration of the ranking of the applications in accordance with regulation .04, the Commission may issue pre-approvals of a license up to a total of 15 licenses.

(2) Beginning June 1, 2016, the Commission may issue the number of pre-approvals of a license necessary to meet the demand for medical marijuana by qualifying patients in an affordable, accessible, secure and efficient manner.

B. If there are more qualified applications than the number of licenses available and there is a numerical tie for the last license to be issued, the license shall be determined by public lottery.

C. The Commission may deny issuing a pre-approval of a license if, for any individual identified in the application specified in Regulation .02B(1) of this chapter:

(1) The criminal history record information demonstrates an absence of good moral character; or

(2) The payment of taxes due in any jurisdiction is in arrears.

D. Within 10 business days of the Commission’s decision, the Commission shall notify an applicant who has been pre-approved for a license.

E. The Commission may rescind pre-approval of a grower license if the grower is not operational within 1 year of pre-approval.

.07 Issuance of License.

A. After an applicant has been issued a pre-approval for a license under this chapter the applicant shall submit to the Commission, as part of its application:

(1) A footnoted financial statement for each individual, partnership, corporation or other entity review that has invested, or is proposed to invest, 5 percent or more of the capital of the applicant;

(2) Evidence of adequate surety bond and insurance; and

(3) Payment of the stage 2 application fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28

B. The Commission may issue a license either to grow medical marijuana or to grow medical marijuana and distribute it to qualifying patients and caregivers on a determination that:

(1) The footnoted financial statement submitted regarding the applicant individuals and entities specified in Regulation .02C(1) of this chapter reveal no evidence that demonstrates the absence of good moral character;

(2) All inspections are passed and all of the applicant’s operations conform to the specifications of the application as pre-approved pursuant to Regulation .06 of this chapter;

(3) The proposed premises:

(a) Are under the legal control of the applicant;

(b) Comply with all zoning and planning requirements; and

(c) Conform to the specifications of the application as pre-approved pursuant to Regulation .06 of this chapter; and

(4) The first installment of the biennial license fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28 has been paid.

.08 Change of Ownership of License.

A. No interest of 5 percent or more of a license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be assignable or transferable unless:

(1) The Commission has received notice in a manner determined by the Commission of the intent of the owner of the interest, or of the estate of the owner of the interest, to transfer or assign an interest in a license to another party;

(2) The transferee has had forwarded the criminal history record information and footnoted financial statement to the Commission of the transferee;

(3) The Commission does not object to the transfer or assignment within 180 business days of its receipt of notice; and

(4) The transferee has paid the required fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

B. The Commission may deny transfer of an interest in a license if the criminal history record information or the background investigation demonstrates an absence of good moral character, or the payment of taxes due in any jurisdiction is in arrears, for any proposed transferee.

.09 Change of Location.

A. A licensee may apply to change the location of the licensee’s operation.

B. The application shall be made in a manner determined by the Commission and accompanied by the fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

C. A licensee may not begin cultivation or dispensing of medical marijuana at a new location until all inspections have been passed.

.10 Renewal of License.

A. A licensee is eligible to apply to renew a license every 2 years.

B. Ninety business days before the expiration of a license, the Commission shall notify the licensee of the:

(1) Date on which the license expires;

(2) Process and the fee required to renew the license; and

(3) Consequences of a failure to renew the license.

C. A licensee who fails to apply for renewal of a license by the date specified by the Commission:

(1) Shall cease operation of the premises;

(2) May not provide medical marijuana to any entity or person.

D. A license may be reinstated upon:

(1) Payment of the fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28; and

(2) Submission of a reinstatement application approved by the Commission.

E. At least 30 business days before a license expires a licensee shall submit:

(1) The renewal application as provided by the Commission;

(2) Proof that fingerprints have been submitted to CJIS and the FBI for every medical marijuana grower agent and investor of an interest of 5 percent or more;

(3) To full inspection of the operation, unless a full inspection was satisfactorily completed within 3 months before the date of the license expiration; and

(4) Payment of the fee specified in COMAR 10.62.28.

F. The Commission shall renew a license that meets the requirements for renewal as stated in §E of this regulation.

G. If the Commission does not renew a license due to a failed inspection or an inadequate application for renewal, the licensee may apply for reinstatement by:

(1) Submitting a plan to correct the deficiencies noted during an inspection; and

(2) Amending the application for renewal.

H. The Commission may decline to renew a license if:

(1) The plan to correct deficiencies identified in an inspection is deficient;

(2) The amended application for renewal is deficient; or

(3) The licensee has repeatedly failed inspections.

Categories
News

Prescribing Marijuana in Maryland

The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has released proposed regulations for physicians and doctors interested in prescribing marijuana in Maryland.

These are the proposed regulations for prescribing marijuana in Maryland as of February 7, 2015 and are subject to change.  These regulations have yet to be approved and any doctor interested in prescribing marijuana in Maryland should consult a Maryland lawyer or more information.

10.62.03 Certifying Physicians

Authority: Health General Article, §§13-3301, 13-3302, and 13-3307, Annotated Code of Maryland

.01 Physician Application for Approval.

  1. A physician seeking approval as a certifying physician shall submit an application provided by the Commission that includes:

(1) The physician’s:

(a) Full name;

(b) Office addresses and phone numbers;

(c) Current email address;

(d) Maryland Board of Physicians license number;

(e) Plan to screen patients for dependence on substances of abuse before and after a patient is issued a written certification; and

(f) Plan to assess patient outcomes, provide follow-up care, and to collect and analyze data;

(2) An attestation that the:

(a) Physician’s Maryland license to practice medicine is active and in good standing;

(b) Physician is authorized to prescribe controlled substances by the State; and

(c) Physician has completed a Commission-approved training course;

(3) The medical conditions for which the physician may issue written certifications for medical marijuana;

(4) The physician’s other inclusion criteria; and

(5) The reasons the physician may deny issuing a written certification of medical marijuana.

  1. The Commission encourages physicians to apply to be approved as a certifying physician to treat patients who:

(1) Have a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in the patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care;

(2) Have a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or are receiving treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:

(a) Cachexia;

(b) Anorexia;

(c) Wasting syndrome;

(d) Severe pain;

(e) Severe nausea;

(f) Seizures; or

(g) Severe or persistent muscle spasms;

(3) Have the following diseases and conditions:

(a) Glaucoma, if the certifying physician is a board certified ophthalmologist; or

(b) Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), if the certifying physician is a board certified psychiatrist.

  1. A physician may be approved as a certifying physician to treat a patient who has a condition this is:

(1) Severe;

(2) For which other medical treatments have been ineffective; and

(3) If the symptoms reasonably can be expected to be relieved by the medical use of marijuana.

  1. A certifying physician may apply to amend the approval at any time.
  2. The Commission:

(1) Shall approve an application that is complete and satisfactory; and

(2) May deny an incomplete, fraudulent or unsatisfactory application.

  1. The Commission shall notify the applicant that the application has been approved.

.02 Written Certification.

  1. A certifying physician may determine that a patient qualifies for a written certification only:

(1) With a patient whom the certifying physician has a bona fide physician-patient relationship;

(2) If the qualifying patient meets the certifying physician’s inclusion criteria;

(3) If the qualifying patient does not meet the certifying physician’s exclusion criteria;

(4) If the qualifying patient has been screened for dependence on substances of abuse, including chemical testing, if appropriate, and has been determined by the physician to be of low risk for addiction, dependence, or diversion; and

(5) If the certifying physician has determined that the potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana likely outweigh the health risks for the patient.

  1. The certifying physician shall:

(1) Transmit the written certification to the Commission in the manner determined by the Commission; and

(2) Provide a copy of the written certification to the qualifying patient.

  1. A written certification shall include the:

(1) Physician’s name, Maryland Board of Physicians license number, and office telephone number;

(2) Qualifying patient’s name, date of birth, address, and county of residence;

(3) Medical condition requiring medical marijuana; and

(4) The date of qualification as a qualifying patient.

  1. A certifying physician may discuss the use of medical marijuana with a qualifying patient.
  2. A certifying physician shall terminate a written certification if:

(1) The qualifying patient meets the physician’s exclusion criteria;

(2) Treatment with medical marijuana is no longer necessary for the qualifying patient;

(3) Adverse effects of medical marijuana outweigh the benefits to the qualifying patient’s health; or

(4) There is evidence that the qualifying patient engaged in diversion of medical marijuana.

  1. A certifying physician may terminate a written certification if the qualifying patient demonstrates abuse of any substance of abuse.
  2. A certifying physician shall notify the Commission within 1 business day of the termination of a written certification.
  3. A qualifying patient shall have only one certifying physician at any time.

.03 Written Certification Renewal.

  1. A qualifying patient may seek renewal of their written certification no less than 30 calendar days after it was issued by notifying their certifying physician.
  2. A certifying physician may renew the written certification for a qualifying patient if the certifying physician determines the patient still meets the criteria set forth in Regulation .02A of this chapter.
  3. Upon renewing a written certification for a qualifying patient, a certifying physician shall notify the Commission in the manner the Commission determines.
  4. A certifying physician may not renew a written certification unless the physician has made a full, in-person assessment of the qualifying patient within the 365 days before the reissuance.


.04 Compensation from a Licensed Grower or Licensed Dispensary.

  1. A certifying physician may not receive compensation, including promotion, recommendation, advertising, subsidized rent, or anything of value, from a licensed grower or a licensed dispensary unless the certifying physician submits an application to the Commission for the approval for the compensation.
  2. The application shall disclose the specific type of compensation and specific amount or value of compensation, and the services for which the compensation will be paid.
  3. The Commission shall deny an application for compensation if the compensation is based on any agreement or arrangement for the certifying physician to refer, direct or recommend qualifying patients to the licensed grower or licensed dispensary to obtain medical marijuana.
  4. The Commission may deny an application for compensation if the compensation agreement may create an appearance that the compensation compromises the independent judgment of the certifying physician in the treatment of a patient.
  5. A certifying physician may not serve as the clinical director of a licensed dispensary.
  6. The Commission shall publish the approved compensation on the Commission’s website.

.05 Annual Report.

  1. A certifying physician shall submit an annual report to the Commission in the manner and at the time determined by the Commission.
  2. The annual report shall include:

(1) The number of qualifying patients issued written certification by the certifying physician categorized by gender and by county of residence or Baltimore City;

(2) The medical conditions for which certification was issued;

(3) A summary of the clinical outcomes of the qualifying patients’ use of medical marijuana by age, gender and other relevant criteria as specified by the Commission;

(4) A summary of any adverse effects in the use of medical marijuana experienced by any qualifying patient of the certifying physician; and

(5) A summary of steps taken in response to instances of suspected diversion of medical marijuana.

  1. The annual report may not include any personally identifiable information related to any qualifying patient.

.06 Renewal of Certifying Physician Approval to Certify.

  1. An approval is valid for 2 years.
  2. A certifying physician shall apply to renew an approval to certify at the time of renewal of the physician’s license to practice medicine by the Maryland Board of Physicians.
  3. The Commission shall provide a certifying physician with notice of renewal 90 business days before expiration of the approval.
  4. The Commission shall grant approval of the application for renewal if:

(1) The certifying physician attests that:

(a) The certifying physician’s license to practice medicine in Maryland is active and in good standing; and

(b) The certifying physician’s registration by the State to prescribe controlled dangerous substances is valid;

(2) The certifying physician has submitted annual reports when and in the manner determined by the Commission; and

(3) The certifying physician documents that, within the 2 years before applying to renew an approval to certify, the physician has completed a course approved by the commission of at least 2 hours in the science or use of marijuana in medical practice; and

(4) The certifying physician has otherwise complied with this chapter.

  1. If a certifying physician fails to obtain a renewal of an approval to issue written certifications, the certifying physician may not issue written certifications.

.07 Action Against a Physician.

  1. The Commission may deny a certifying physician’s application for approval to certify if the physician:

(1) Fraudulently applied for approval;

(2) Fraudulently issued a written certification; or

(3) Failed to comply with this chapter.

  1. The Commission shall report to the Maryland Board of Physicians any instance of fraud or conduct that threatens public health by a certifying physician.
Categories
News

Congress ends medical marijuana enforcement

Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill to prevent an impending government shutdown. This urgency gave many lawmakers the opportunity to amend the spending bill and passed an amendment that stops the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) from using federal funds to “prevent [medical marijuana states] from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”  Essentially, Congress ends medical marijuana enforcement by taking away any money to enforce federal law. Essentially, this means the states that currently have medical marijuana can continue their programs without fear of the federal intervention. In other words, medical marijuana is here to stay and patients and doctors no longer need to fear DEA raids and prosecution.

The debate on the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment is amazing, from Congress’ website:

“Mr. ROHRABACHER:

It is no surprise then that public opinion is shifting, too. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 61 percent of Republicans and a whooping 76 percent of Independents favor making medical marijuana legal and available to their patients who need it.  As I have said, 29 States have already enacted laws that will permit patients access to medical marijuana and their derivatives. By the way, 80 percent of Democrats feel the same way.  Despite this overwhelming shift in public opinion, the Federal Government continues its hard-line oppression against medical marijuana. For those of us who routinely talk about the 10th Amendment, which we do in conservative ranks, and respect for State laws, this amendment should be a no-brainer. In addition, this also gives us the opportunity to prove that we  really do believe in respecting the doctor-patient relationship.”

You can’t bust these people:

“Mr. FARR.

Mr. Chair, I rise in support of this amendment as a  coauthor of it and to point out this is six Democrats and six  Republicans that are authoring this. There are 33 States, three of which have just passed laws and the Governors have indicated they will sign them. This is essentially saying, look, if you are following State law, you are a legal resident doing your business under State law, the Feds just can’t come in and bust you and bust the doctors and bust the patient.   It is more than half the States. So you don’t have to have any opinion about the value of marijuana. This doesn’t change any laws. This doesn’t affect one law, just lists the States that have already legalized it only for medical purposes, only medical purposes, and says, Federal Government, in those States, in those places, you can’t bust people. It seems to me a practical, reasonable amendment in this time and age.”

Congress ends medical marijuana enforcement by taking funds from DEA

You can read the full text of the amendment and the legislative debate on the issue here:

https://www.congress.gov/amendment/113th-congress/house-amendment/748