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MD: Medical-Marijuana Doctors Plan New Hagerstown Office

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
A group of doctors who want to help Maryland patients enter the state's new medical-marijuana program are planning to open an office in Hagerstown next month.

Green Health Docs – which bills itself as "the nation's premier medical marijuana evaluation practice" – is already accepting patients in anticipation of opening Aug. 14 in a shopping plaza at 15 E. Oak Ridge Drive.

"We decided to open these clinics mainly because there's a big opioid epidemic, and we wanted to help patients find other ways" to manage pain and chronic illness, said Dr. Shivani Amin, a co-owner of the practice.

The practice provides evaluations, certifications from a registered referral physician, and then helps patients apply through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

"It's a fairly easy process ... (but) it can be a little complicated," Amin said.

A new certification costs $200 – military veterans get a $30 discount – and is good for one year. Renewals cost $150.

By law, the practice can't accept insurance.

It would be the fourth Maryland location for Green Health, joining Frederick, Rockville and LaVale, which is slated to open this weekend. Additional locations in the Baltimore area are in the works.

Amin said she and her business partner, Dr. Anand Dugar, started the practice because they believe in the medicinal powers of cannabis as an alternative to highly addictive opioids.

"I just really want to help these patients," Amin said. "I've seen the worst of the worst. It's sad."

In Maryland, ​medical cannabis can be prescribed for any severe condition for which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and if the symptoms "reasonably can be expected to be relieved" by the medical use of cannabis, according to the marijuana commission's website.

Other qualifying patients include those with a documented chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe loss of appetite, wasting, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms, glaucoma or post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Medical marijuana helps everything," Amin said. "Anxiety, depression ... it can literally help with any type of medical condition that a person has. I think it's going to do really well."

To learn more about Green Health Docs, call 240-356-1000 or visit the practice's website at Medical Marijuana Card and Evaluations in Maryland - Green Health Docs©.

Sales by fall

The opening of the medical-marijuana practice comes after the state commission in early July approved a license for Maryland's first dispensary near Frederick, Md.

However, cannabis is not expected to be ready for purchase until this fall.

In total, the commission issued pre-approvals for 15 companies to cultivate, 15 to process and 102 to dispense medical cannabis.

ForwardGro LLC in Anne Arundel County is the lone grower to receive a license so far, along with Frederick County dispensary Wellness Institute of Maryland.

The state has yet to issue a processor license.

Two growers with plans in Washington County – Harvest of Maryland LLC and Kind Therapeutics USA LLC – were named among the pre-approvals.

Harvest, which also is a pre-approved dispenser in Montgomery County, is renovating the former Fleetwood building in Hancock.

Kind Therapeutics, which also received a preliminary approval as a processor in Washington and as a dispenser in Anne Arundel, is working toward revamping an old furniture factory in Hagerstown to house their operation.

One company, Maryland Health & Wellness Inc., received pre-approval for a dispensary in state Senate District 2 in Washington County, which includes Hagerstown and much of the county's eastern portion.

Two more received preliminary approval in District 1, covering western Washington County and Williamsport, plus all of Allegany and Garrett counties.

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