All Maryland residents with qualifying conditions have been able to register for the state’s medical marijuana program since Monday.
The registration has been staggered up to this point, with two enrolments. On April 10, those with last names A through L could register, followed by last names M through Z on April 17. As of April 24th, registration became open.
4,000 patients and 100 caregivers had applied before the open registration date.
“Providing access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients is the top priority for our Commission,” said Dr. Paul W. Davies, chairman of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
“The opening of the Patient Registry is a huge step in the implementation process, and in ultimately providing safe and effective medical cannabis to the sick and suffering in Maryland.”
Once approved by the MMCC, patients will need to visit a registered doctor to obtain a valid written certification.
With regard to the provision of medicines, that’s still a little way off – supplies are expected to be available in a few months. Medical cannabis will be available in non-smokable forms or for vaporizing and as extracts, lotions, ointments and tinctures.
Unfortunately, in the lead-up to the open registration, some patients in Maryland fell victim to a series of scams, including bogus pre-approval for the program.
Along with a significant number of registrations, there’s also been a huge amount of interest from the business side of cannabis. Back in 2015 we mentioned the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) received 882 applications for grower, processor and dispenser licenses in the state. 15 pre-approvals for companies to grow medical cannabis, 15 for processing it, and 102 pre-approvals to companies to dispense medical cannabis have been issued.
The program is quite broad in terms of qualifying conditions. Any condition that is severe and has not responded to conventional medicines and if the symptoms “reasonably can be expected to be relieved” by medical cannabis qualify.
“In addition, if the patient has a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe loss of appetite, wasting, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms, or glaucoma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” states the MMCC web site.