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Maryland medical marijuana program patient registration now open

Frederick, MD — The leader of the state of Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission was among the first to sign up for the patient registry which opened Monday.

Registration for patients and caregivers is only available online through the state’s website.

Families with a last name that starts with an A - L can register now. Other families can begin registering Monday April 17.

That should give you a clue into just how regulated the process of obtaining medicinal marijuana in Maryland is going to be.

“Growers are close to final inspection, businesses are going through background checks and patients have to be registered with the state in order to be included,” said Shannon Moore, who has been an advocate for medical marijuana since 2013.

Moore said between 65,000 - 125,000 people are expected to register in the coming years. Patients will only be able to buy it from a state-licensed dispensary with a doctor’s prescription. Those prescriptions will only be given out to patients or caregivers for certain ailments in which there are no other options for treatment other than medical marijuana.

“We’re bringing a black market into the light so in order to do that we have to have complete transparency,” said Moore.

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commissioner Shannon Moore and her son Nicholas.

Medical marijuana is expected to be available this summer.

According to a state website, licenses are available to any Maryland resident whose physician recommends medical cannabis as a treatment option for a qualifying medical condition. Qualifying medical conditions include cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

Non-residents of the state will also be able to register with the Maryland Marijuana Cannabis Commission. They will be required to provide the address of and a contact name for the Maryland medical facility where the patient is receiving treatment.