Look for more edible options coming to dispensary shelves in Maryland soon.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) on Thursday approved three more licensed processors to produce and distribute edible cannabis products across the state.
The trio includes Eastern Shore-based MaryMed, a vertically integrated subsidiary of Minnesota-based multistate operator Vireo Health International; Culta, another vertically integrated firm with a dispensary in Baltimore and growing and processing operations on the shore; and Kind Therapeutics, a cultivator and processor based in Hagerstown.
The three companies join a roster of seven total firms producing THC-infused goods after Maryland cannabis regulators finalized rules for edibles this spring. After years of debate in the General Assembly over whether to introduce edibles to the Maryland market, the commission rolled out its proposed rules last fall and they took effect April 19.
The first three firms to receive the green light to make edibles, all this past April, were Holistic Industries, Evermore Cannabis Co. and Chesapeake Alternatives/Green Thumb Industries, the Baltimore Business Journal reported. Grassroots, doing business as GR Companies Inc., has also received commission approval to make edibles, according to a table provided to The Outlaw Report by MMCC officials.
Regulators on Thursday moved through a packed agenda of approvals, giving a final thumbs up—unanimously and with little to no discussion—to a slew of license ownership transfers from existing businesses to multistate operators. Among those transfers were:
MI Health, a Gaithersburg dispensary at Snouffer School Road, going to Massachusetts-based Curaleaf. The company, which has dispensaries in 23 states, first reported in 2018 that it would purchase that retailer and another in Gaithersburg as part of a larger $30 million acquisition of HMS Health.
Harford County-based dispensary Rise Joppa going to GTI Maryland, a subsidiary of publicly traded Green Thumb Industries in Illinois.
Prince George’s County-based Altpharm dispensary going to Holistic Industries Inc., a D.C.-headquartered firm with operations in eight states.
Multiple dispensary and growing operations, including Zen Leaf dispensary in Towson, FreeState Wellness’ growing and dispensary operations in Howard County, and EPIC Labs in Charles County, going to Chicago-based cannabis behemoth Verano Holdings.
The commission rejected just one license transfer—from Harvest of Maryland in Hagerstown to Florida-based Trulieve—because the processor, which started operating in 2019, must wait at least three years to transfer its license under state rules, and still has another year to wait.
William Tilburg, executive director of MMCC, announced a couple milestones and updates for the industry, including rolling out a fully updated website next week, surpassing 140,000 certified patients from 123,000 at the start of the year, and the resumption of printing ID cards for patients. Printing was disrupted last year when MMCC staff began working virtually. Tilburg said about 15,000 ID cards were printed in the past five weeks, and the commission expects to be caught up on a backlog by October.
Tilburg also noted that MMCC would soon be assisting a workgroup launched last month by Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones to study the possibility of legalizing recreational cannabis.
“There are different timings and paths depending on whether this goes to referendum or a substantive bill is passed in 2022, but we at the commission are continuing to support the efforts of the General Assembly,” said Tilburg.
He said that will entail sharing information about Maryland’s cannabis program and data from states that have transitioned from a medical market to a medical and adult-use recreational market.
“We anticipate that it’s going to be a busy fall and winter supporting the workgroup that’s been established by the speaker and generally supporting the General Assembly as they tackle this complex and big issue,” he added.
Regulators also adopted two rule changes governing industry affairs. One will speed up small ownership transfers (less than 5% of ownership) by allowing MMCC staff to approve them without a hearing. The other will require, under penalty of a fine, that anyone listed on the license for a dispensary, processor or grower notify regulators of any legal action pending against them.