Maryland lawmakers technically approved medical marijuana back in 2013, yet it is taking years to launch the program. Officially, The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has granted preliminary licences to 102 operators. Only one, The Wellness Institute of Maryland in Frederick, has received approval to open.
The commission awarded the preliminary licenses by each state Senate district. Businesses applying for licenses and their operators did not specify their proposed locations in the application process.
In many cases, locations of these dispensaries are just now becoming evident as operators prepare for their final inspections in time for their opening deadline in December. This has many residents in the city of Baltimore concerned about the value of their input on where these medical marijuana centers should open.
After hearing concerns from her district, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke is calling a hearing about a medical marijuana dispensary planned on opening in the 3300 block of Keswick Road in Wyman Park. The hearing will allow residents to ask questions and get answers.
The Baltimore City Council plans to hold the hearing at 1p.m. on Wednesday to get details about “the launching of upcoming medicinal marijuana dispensaries, their impact on local zoning and enforcement, and their impact on community master plans in Baltimore City.”
“Basically they’re concerned about reports and academic studies that indicate that in other locations throughout the nation crime increases in surrounding neighborhoods to these locations,” Clarke said of residents of her district. “This backs up to a residential neighborhood. Yes, it’s zoned commercial but there should be a process for community input for the location of these dispensaries.”
As it stands, a medical marijuana facility does not need zoning approval from the city to open in the city of Baltimore. Baltimore City officials have chosen to treat the dispensaries like pharmacies under the zoning code and did not pass special legislation for them. Yet, Baltimore City Council has passed legislation on zoning that requires medical marijuana dispensaries there must be 500 feet away from schools and 2,500 feet from another dispensary.
So far in Baltimore, 11 medical marijuana dispensaries have been pre-approved by the state in the city’s six legislative districts. The list is as follows:
- Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute LLC and WadeWomen LLC-Dr. Dot’s in West Baltimore’s District 40.
- H&G Maryland LLC in Northwest Baltimore’s District 41.
- Blair Wellness Center and Medical Products and Services Inc. in North Baltimore’s District 43.
- Charm City Relief Partners LLC in Southwest Baltimore’s District 44.
- CannaMD LLC and Hallaway LLC in East Baltimore’s District 45.
- GreenLabs Inc., Pure Life Medical Inc. and Doctor’s Order Maryland in South Baltimore’s District 46.
Baltimore also has one licensed grower and pre-approved processor, Temescal Wellness LLC.
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