Medical cannabis sales in Maryland topped $96 million in first year

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Medical cannabis sales in Maryland topped $96 million in first year

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Maryland’s medical cannabis industry is off to a good start. During the state’s first year of operation, legal medicinal cannabis sales totaled $96.3 million.

Based on a report from the Baltimore Sun, 250 to 350 people are applying for medical cannabis authorization every single day in Maryland. The State must approve applications before weed-based medicines can be distributed to patients. Since medical cannabis became legally available to buy in Maryland last December, almost 52,000 patients purchased 730,000 products from myriad licensed stores.

The annual sales figure of $96.3 million is almost double the amount that experts predicted Maryland’s medical cannabis industry would rake in. Initially, experts believed the industry would yield $46 million during its first year.

Maryland’s medical cannabis industry is harvesting plenty of money and demand

Demand for medical cannabis in Maryland is soaring. Approximately 29,000 patient names have been included on the list of approved applicants since the same time last year. With those additional 29,000 patients, the registered patient count now rests at 47,086.

Almost 3,000 of the people who have registered for enrollment in Maryland’s medical cannabis industry are caregivers and will, therefore, be procuring pot for someone in their care. Of the approved registrations, 172 are minors.

In spite of the slow rollout – medical cannabis was legalized in Maryland back in 2013, but was limited to “medical centers” – patients were finally able to get their hands on pharmaceutical-grade weed in late 2017.

Providing medicinal cannabis products to Maryland’s patient community are 946 registered and licensed suppliers.

Numerous bills that would have had catastrophic consequences for Maryland’s medical cannabis program were laid to rest this year.

House Bill 1668 is a prime example. This particular bill would have put doctors at risk of being penalized by the federal government if they recommended weed to their patients. A separate bill designed to boost the number of in-state minority-owned medical cannabis businesses was approved this year.

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in Maryland

Currently, recreational cannabis remains illegal in Maryland. Anyone who applies and is approved for the medical cannabis program, on the other hand, must not possess any more than a 30-day supply of medicinal weed at any given time.

Furthermore, the laws allow licensed dispensaries to acquire and sell their products from no more than 15 growers.

Patients who are enrolled in Maryland’s medical cannabis program cannot legally cultivate their own plants. Individuals caught in possession of 10 grams (or less) of cannabis will be faced with a $100 penalty. Possession of anywhere between 10 grams and 50 pounds is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a year in prison and a maximum penalty of $1,000.

Public cannabis consumption in Maryland is prohibited. Anyone found guilty will a be slapped with a $500 civil fine.