The first crop in Maryland’s long-delayed medical cannabis program is mature and waiting for testing, but it is still unclear when patients might be able to buy it.
And industry officials caution that when it is ready for sale, there will not be nearly enough to meet market demand.
The nascent industry has grown in fits and starts, beset by delays, court cases and a complete overhaul of the commission this summer.
On Tuesday afternoon, regulators approved eight more firms to enter the market — one grower, four processors, two independent testing labs and two dispensaries.
ForwardGro, the Anne Arundel County company that was the first in the state to get a growing license, sent its product to the lab last month and is waiting.
ForwardGro spokeswoman Gail Rand said her company gave the testing lab some of its product to help the facility calibrate its machines, a process that is still underway. That must be completed before the marijuana flowers are tested for potency and quality, then certified for sale. She could not estimate when that would happen.
Newly approved dispensary owner William Askinazi said he’s hoping to have at least some product in two to four weeks.
The medical marijuana commission granted him permission Tuesday to open the doors at Potomac Holistics, his 3,000-square-foot medical suite near Shady Grove Medical Center in Montgomery County. In addition to dispensing at its office space, Potomac Holistic plans to deliver cannabis to patients all over the state.
There is not a public list of doctors available, so patients must seek out professionals to recommend it. Doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners and midwives can recommend the medicine.
During a meeting of the cannabis commission held in the Frederick County Council chambers, Jameson cautioned that the whole supply chain won’t be up and running at once, and patients may need to wait.