Cannabis is rapidly approaching mainstream status, especially with the support it has been garnering in light of the various medical research that emerged in the past years. Combine this with the fact that more and more states have been legalizing the plant for medical and even recreational use, there is no wonder why many others are considering the possibility of making the plant entirely legal.
Along with the emerging need for cannabis as an aid to treatments, states in which the plant is seen in a positive light are slowly showing its marijuana culture. After all, the plant has been around for a very long time. In the United States, the use of marijuana can be traced way back to the early colonists.
For marijuana supporters in Maryland, the state is gradually forming its very own cannabis culture, especially with the recent developments in state legislation. If you are a supporter who wants to participate in the state’s cannabis culture, you will be glad to know that you can do this in many ways. Here’s where you should start:
Before you dive right into the various activities that make up Maryland’s cannabis culture, it pays to know the essentials of marijuana legalization in the state. If you have been a resident of the state for a few years, you probably know that a medical marijuana program has been in place since 2013 albeit limited. Today, a more inclusive and accessible program initiative exists, allowing more patients to use such aids in treating their conditions.
Aside from medical marijuana, the plant has also been decriminalized, reducing the number of arrests and prosecutions in connection with minor marijuana offenses. The state even has a program that lets individuals with such records to apply for expungement.
However, it is important to take note that the use of the plant for medical use is the only application legal in the state. This means that adult-use recreational marijuana remains illegal in Maryland. Legislators are still looking into the feasibility of such actions, saying that legalization of recreational use may not come in 2020.
How You Can Participate in Maryland’s Cannabis Culture
Now that you know the most essential things about cannabis law in Maryland, you might be wondering how you can participate in the state’s marijuana culture given this info. Whether you are a supporter or a patient, there are some things you can do to contribute to enlivening the community. Here are just some of the most productive and practical things you should look into:
Check out events
One way to show how strong the community is by attending events that show support for the plant. This helps patients and supporters express their clamor for legalization, while also enjoying what the events have to offer. Take the CannaConnect event, for example. This was launched to allow patients to connect with medical cannabis professionals and local vendors.
By attending this event, you not only express the need for the plant and such platforms, but you are also gaining access to information such as accessibility and medical connections. Aside from CannaConnect, you can look for cannabis events listed on our site, especially in light of the upcoming 420 celebrations on April 20 this year.
If you are a patient, get an MMJ Card
Those who are suffering from chronic and debilitating medical conditions and symptoms can be qualified to become a medical marijuana cardholder. Keep in mind that the is only legal for medical uses, so getting an MMJ card is the only way to legally access cannabis products. So, if you have such conditions and you want to use the plant to aid your existing medical treatments, then an MMJ card is the way to go.
Before starting your application, remember that Maryland’s program has a list of qualifying conditions that warrant the use of a MMJ card. This includes anorexia, cachexia, severe and chronic pain, just to name a few. To know if your condition qualifies for MMJ, consult a licensed medical care provider. You need to submit a certification from them, so this is a great first step.
After obtaining a certification, you will need to see if you are eligible. There is no age limit for becoming a medical marijuana patient. However, keep in mind that minors need to be supervised by parents or legal guardians. Once your application gets approved, you can purchase products from registered dispensaries. Just show your patient ID card and you are good to go.
Test your luck in the market
With the booming market across the country, you might want to try your hand in business by establishing a dispensary or by becoming a grower or a processor. Before you can do this, keep in mind that you will need to obtain a license from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). Currently, the MMCC has given licenses to a number of dispensaries, growers, and processors.
However, it maintains a significant list of pre-approved companies, which the Commission still needs to process before being granted a license. These are undergoing investigations, completing requirements and securing local zoning approvals. Should you come up with a brilliant business venture, you will need to undergo the same process these companies are currently going through.
Enroll in a cannabis-focused university program
If you want to contribute to the community in the state in a more substantial manner, you might want to formally study the plant by enrolling in a cannabis-focused university program. The University of Maryland in Baltimore is offering a Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program.
With this, you will learn more about existing research and policies that relate to the plant. Such a degree can help you get a deeper understanding of the medicinal attributes of the plant and how it is received in the United States, especially in terms of legalization.
Cannabis culture in Maryland is definitely flourishing. With the wide variety of activities and programs you can enter, you can participate in the community at a deeper level, helping you translate your enthusiasm for the plant into support and advocacy.