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MD: First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens In Cecil County

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
One of the two medical marijuana dispensaries located in the county is already open and the second expects to do so in the coming weeks as medical marijuana begins its slow rollout throughout the state.

PharmKent LLC, located at 330 E. Pulaski Highway in Elkton, has been awarded a preliminary license and is already taking applications from people whose conditions would warrant use of the drug, said Peter Murphy, managing member of the dispensary.

Murphy said sales of the approved cannabis products could begin by the end of December or by early January.

The second dispensary – Nature's Care and Wellness at 4925 Pulaski Highway in Perryville – expects to be issued its license soon, said Linda Condon, director. Once the license is acquired, the dispensary plans to open on Jan. 15 but the office will take calls beginning Jan. 2 to help people register with the state, she said, noting a certificate is required to receive medical marijuana.

More than four years after the state legalized medical marijuana, the first dispensaries opened in Maryland earlier this month, though limited supply and technical difficulties mean very little is actually available for patients as of yet.

But patients can still register with the state and begin the process of receiving their certification. Certification is only issued to people who can prove their current medical condition would benefit, such as those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe pain or nausea that does not respond to traditional therapies, and certain other chronic conditions.

PharmKent will also assist customers with registration, Murphy said, adding it costs nothing to register. The only paperwork needed is a driver's license. However to get the card, the staff at PharmKent will take a photo for the ID.

Murphy said approval takes up to 10 days. Doctors, meanwhile, are also registering to be able to prescribe the medical cannabis, which comes in several delivery modes.

"We have various modes: flower, oil, pills, elixirs, creams and patches," Murphy said.

Notably though, Maryland does not currently allow for edibles, or food made with marijuana's active ingredients. PharmKent will have a doctor or nurse practitioner on call to answer any questions once dispensing begins.

Patients who are able to buy medical marijuana should expect to pay the full price out of pocket, Murphy said.

"At this point it's strictly a cash business. No checks, no credit cards. There will be an ATM on site," he said. "And there is no insurance that will cover it at this point in time."

Each dispensary sets its own prices and Murphy said patients can expect starting prices to be around $100 and possibly as high as $500 per month at PharmKent.

Maryland allows a patient to buy a set amount of medical marijuana each month. Computers in place will monitor the purchases.

"Every 30 days you can purchase up to 120 grams of flower product or 36 grams of concentrate," said Shane Mayberry, manager of PharmKent.

"And the state will track the quantity," Murphy said, adding that the computer system will allow any certified patient to make a purchase at any dispensary in the state.

While there is one dispensary for each Maryland senate district, there are 15 allocated slots for growers and processors. SunMed Growers LLC in Warwick is one of those licensees selected by the commission out of a pool of 145 grower applicants. In August, Jacob Van Wingerden, chief officer of SunMed, told the Whig he expected the company's first batch to be ready in December or January.



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