Edible medical cannabis products are now legal in Maryland after Gov. Larry Hogan signed two related bills on Monday this week (May 13). Medical marijuana businesses stand to boost their revenue potential with the addition of these products to their offerings.
The medical marijuana edibles bill was signed along with a related antitrust law on the same day. There are three major highlights of those two laws as explained below.
First, no single individual or business entity will be allowed to get more than four medical marijuana dispensary licenses in the state. This provision is intended to spread the economic opportunities in the industry to as many individuals as possible. The lawmakers didn’t want to see a situation in which “Big Marijuana” sets foot in the state and dominates the entire industry, to the detriment of small players.
Another provision states that the regulators of the medical marijuana industry will not grant an applicant more than one cultivation or processing license. This clause is also intended to ensure that there is rigorous competition in the industry since many players will be involved in cultivating and processing medical marijuana in Maryland. Innovation will flourish as a result, because growers and cultivators will be hard at work looking for more cost-effective ways to grow or process medical marijuana.
Universities and other research institutions were also allowed to purchase medical marijuana for purposes of conducting research. This provision clears any gray areas which may have existed in the medical marijuana laws that set requirements for a person who wishes to buy, possess and consume medical cannabis.
Under the previous law, research institutions couldn’t get their hands on medical marijuana because they aren’t patients, and they therefore needed to go through a lengthy, often unclear process to get special permission from regulators in order to access medical marijuana. The legal change clarifies how research institutions can access medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana sales started towards the end of 2017 across the state. By the end of 2018, medical marijuana sales grossed nearly $110 million. Figures released by the state show that the first quarter of this year (2019) has seen medical cannabis sales totaling $49 million. The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) and other companies hope that the passing of these two laws will provide an added impetus to the industry so that the annual sales hit higher and higher levels as the industry matures.
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