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Medical marijuana dispensaries will soon be opening to any long time awaiting patients. Maryland medical marijuana regulators are set to decide on Nov. 21st which companies are going to be awarded licenses to open long-awaited dispensaries where patients can legally buy the drug.
While the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission previously said that it hopes the product will hit shelves by spring, the timeline is unclear, with various controversies and other hurdles threatening delays before businesses can start operating possibly later or also sooner than so.
In August, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded 15 licenses to companies to grow marijuana, and named 15 companies to process it into medical products such as oils and pills. Those awarded companies have up to a year to pass inspections and vetting before they can start to operate.
Aspiring dispensary owners can only operate one dispensary, and some companies have applied to dozens of communities to boost their chances.
The law caps the number of medical marijuana outlets to two per state Senatatorial district, which means that there will be 94 dispensaries throughout the state.
The Regional Economic Studies Institute of Towson scored and ranked more than 800 applications to open dispensaries, which were reviewed by subject matter experts on factors like proposed security measures and medical training policies.
The commission voted on Friday about guidelines for selecting dispensaries that call for a formula to match dispensary applicants to Senate districts based on the rankings of their application materials and preferred locations.
While the commission is scheduled to vote on awarding dispensary pre-approvals Nov. 21st, it has an additional 10 business days to announce the identities of the winning dispensaries.