During the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s October meeting, the MMCC finally awarded a number of grower and processor approvals and announced that in the coming weeks, they would release its annual report and the drafted regulations for edibles. While the annual report has not yet arrived, the October 23 edition of the Maryland Register contained the drafted regulations for edibles.
When medicinal cannabis arrived in Maryland in 2017, it did not include regulations for food that includes THC, save for gummies and mints, which are mostly referred to as “troches” and “tablets” as a workaround. But in 2019, House Bill 17 which allowed dispensaries to “acquire, possess, transfer, sell, distribute or dispense edible cannabis products” passed. More than a year later however, Maryland is just now seeing a draft of the regulations for edibles and with it, the economic argument for edibles sales impact on Maryland’s medicinal cannabis industry.
According to the regulations, the MMCC believes that at least half of the 18 licensed processors will begin producing edibles (defined more formally as, “a medical cannabis product intended for human consumption by oral ingestion, in whole or in part.”). Due to fees and permits alone, this the MMCC explains, will provide them with $18,000 more in revenue. Additionally, the number of medicinal cannabis patients in Maryland, which as of the end of September was at 117,000 people, will likely also increase now that edibles will soon be possible to purchase. “The Commission anticipates an indeterminable increase in the number of medical cannabis patients, who may not currently be seeking treatment due to the unavailability of certain products,” the regulations explain, later adding, “Edible cannabis products may be an alternative for individuals who are not inclined to smoke or vape cannabis products or to consume other products that are currently available. An undetermined number of individuals who are currently going untreated or treating their medical condition with pharmaceuticals may now seek to be treated with edible cannabis products.”
Edibles will also be packaged with a sticker of what looks like a yield sign with the image of a cannabis leaf and the words “THC” above it—first introduced at a MMCC Policy Committee meeting in May. The packaging will also contain a warning which says, “consumption of medical cannabis may impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Please use extreme caution”; “there may be health risks associated with cannabis use, especially during pregnancy or breast-feeding”; and “this package contains cannabis. Keep out of the reach of children and animals.”
The drafted regulations can be read here in full.
As The Outlaw Report often notes, as these kinds of regulations are passed back and forth, people continue to be arrested for related charges. Earlier this month,, police in Anne Arundel County arrested a woman from the Baltimore neighborhood of Brooklyn—which falls along the line between Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County—for possessing 317 grams of cannabis, 41 grams of THC oil, and 576 grams of edibles.
Illustration by Kathy Wyche