What You Need to Know about Medical Cannabis in Maryland

While still a slightly taboo subject in today’s society, cannabis (also known as marijuana) is revolutionizing the medical industry and the treatment for severe conditions, including multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, mental illness, and more.

To learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis, Peninsula Alternative Health (PAH) outlines the basics of medicinal marijuana dispensaries, processors and growers, the history of this alternative medicine in Maryland, and more:

Who supplies medical marijuana?

Licensed Maryland medicinal cannabis dispensaries can supply qualified patients and caregivers with this alternative medicine.

102 stage 1 licenses Maryland dispensaries, including Peninsula Alternative Health, we are going through government inspection and background checks. More than 170 physicians have registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), according to an article by The Baltimore Sun.

What are the qualifying conditions for this alternative medicine?

In order to receive medicinal cannabis as an alternative form of treatment in Maryland, qualified patients must have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Cachexia
  • Anorexia
  • Wasting Syndrome
  • Severe, chronic pain and/or nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • Glaucoma
  •  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If a patient has any of the above conditions they may contact a physician registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to establish the following:

  • A bona fide patient-physician relationship, which is defined as a treatment or counseling relationship between a patient and physician where the physician performs the following:
    • Reviews the patient’s relevant medical records
    • Completes an in-person assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition
    • Creates and maintains medically standardized records
    • Expects to monitor the patient’s Medical Cannabis Program
    • Takes any medically indicated action to follow up
  • A condition severe enough that other traditional forms of medication have not proven to lessen the condition’s symptoms
  • A grounded expectation that medicinal cannabis will be able to relieve the patient’s severe, qualifying condition

When and where will medical marijuana be available in Maryland?

In 2014, the governor of Maryland signed the medicinal marijuana bill that protects patients with severe pain, nausea, wasting syndrome, seizures, and severe muscle spasms from arrest and prosecution.

This bill states that qualified patients are able to obtain this alternative medicine from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, which rely on licensed growers and processors for their supply.

The following year, the state had to delay the sale of medicinal marijuana due to more than 1,000 applications from would-be medicinal marijuana dispensaries, growers and processors.

In 2016, the MMCC approved 102 Stage 1 pre-approval licenses for dispensaries in the state, including Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland.

According to The Washington Post, once the initial license is given, medical marijuana dispensaries have a year to build facilities, train staff, and raise capital before passing a final inspection. Some businesses like PAH are finalizing these steps in hopes of a quicker production upon the final inspection approval.

 Why should you consider asking your physician about alternative medicine?

The benefits of medical cannabis are constantly being studied with successful conclusions.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, several studies conducted by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis “assessed smoked marijuana's ability to alleviate neuropathic pain, a notoriously difficult to treat type of nerve pain associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injury and many other debilitating conditions."

Each of the trials found that cannabis consistently reduced patients' pain levels to a degree that was as good or better than currently available medications.

Another study conducted by the Center's investigators assessed the use of marijuana as a treatment for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). That study determined that "smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in reducing spasticity and pain in patients with MS, and provided some benefit beyond currently prescribed treatments.’”

If you’d like more information about the benefits of medical cannabis and/or how to register with the MMCC for medicinal cannabis treatment in Maryland, contact the experts at PAH.