Marijuana Cultivation Grow Defense Lawyer David Nowak, Esq.
As a Baltimore marijuana defense lawyer I have received many calls about legalization of marijuana. Here is a brief explanation of Maryland’s new marijuana law.
Maryland’s medical marijuana law will go into effect on October 1, 2013 and many people in Baltimore are already asking when they can legally possess pot and when they can start growing marijuana.
The answer for Maryland residents is not good news. The Maryland medical marihuana law essentially creates a commission to regulate medical marijuana through a limited and select group of academic hospitals that fit very strict criteria. Baltimore residents who possess marijuana even for medicinal purposes still face arrest. Marylanders that grow and cultivate marijuana also still face arrest.
In fact, unless you are enrolled in an approved program a patient who possess marijuana may still be arrested. The academic medical centers that will be administering the program may be in legal trouble unless they receive their marijuana from the Federal Government or a licensed medical marijuana grower in Maryland. Unless you are a licensed grower you too will be subjected to criminal prosecution in Maryland.
Unlike our sister states of Colorado and California, entrepreneurs interested in setting up grows and direct sales to patients will be unable to work in Maryland. The State of Maryland has probably missed a great opportunity to foster a rapidly growing industry in medicinal marijuana on the east coast. The Medical Marijuana Commission referenced in the law is in the process of being created and it is likely that they will publish regulations for the medicinal marijuana programs in Maryland in a year or two. Until then, patients, academic institutions, entrepreneurs and cultivators still face criminal prosecution.
In Maryland, the growing and cultivating of medical marijuana will be strictly regulated by a Commission and limited to a few academic medical intuitions. Here is the actual law:
Section 13–3108 of the Health Article.
(A) (1) THE COMMISSION SHALL LICENSE MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWERS TO OPERATE IN THE STATE TO PROVIDE MARIJUANA TO 7 PROGRAMS APPROVED FOR OPERATION UNDER THIS SUBTITLE.
(2) THE COMMISSION MAY LICENSE NO MORE THAN FIVE 9 MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWERS FOR EACH APPROVED PROGRAM.
(B) AN ENTITY LICENSED TO GROW MARIJUANA UNDER THIS SECTION MAY PROVIDE MARIJUANA ONLY TO AN ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTER APPROVED TO OPERATE A PROGRAM UNDER THIS SUBTITLE.
(C) THE COMMISSION SHALL ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR SECURITY AND THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS THAT A GROWER MUST MEET IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A LICENSE UNDER THIS SECTION, INCLUDING A REQUIREMENT FOR A PRODUCT–TRACKING SYSTEM.
(D) THE COMMISSION MAY INSPECT GROWERS LICENSED UNDER THIS SECTION TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION.
(E) THE COMMISSION MAY IMPOSE PENALTIES OR RESCIND THE LICENSE OF A GROWER THAT DOES NOT MEET THE STANDARDS FOR LICENSURE SET BY THE COMMISSION