Maryland Cannabis Facts + History

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC): Develops policies, procedures, and regulations to implement programs that ensure medical cannabis is available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner. The MMCC oversees all licensing, registration, inspection, and testing measures pertaining to Maryland’s medical cannabis program and provides relevant program information to patients, physicians, growers, dispensers, processors, testing laboratories and caregivers. Any Maryland resident (adult, minor patient, or caregiver) with a qualifying medical condition can register as a patient with the MMCC. Patients can register on the MMCC website.

Maryland Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions: cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.


Responsible for the cultivation and care of cannabis plants. Growers maintain healthy plants and practice safe, patient-friendly feeding methods. Growers ensure the plants are protected from pests, watered and provided with the proper nutrients for optimal growth.


Processors receive medical cannabis plants from growers and are responsible for refining the essential oils, terpenes and cannabinoids found in the cannabis owner into safe, medical cannabis products and concentrates.


A dispensary is a retail location where medical cannabis patients purchase cannabis in a legal and safe manner. Dispensaries offer patients assistance to find an optimal dose and recommend a delivery method to achieve optimal results.


A medical provider with an active, unrestricted license in good standing with the Maryland Department of Health and is actively registered to prescribe controlled substances in Maryland, is eligible to register with the MMCC and recommend cannabis.


A highly skilled health-care professional trained and licensed in a medical specialty to diagnose and manage complex medical problems. There are two types of physicians: a doctor of medicine (M.D.) who practices the classical form of medicine, focused on the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases and osteopathy (D.O.) centered around a more holistic view of medicine, focusing is on seeing the patient as a “whole person” to reach a diagnosis, rather than treating the symptoms alone.

Nurse Practitioners (NP)

NPs have advanced training in diagnosing and treating illness and can prescribe medications, treat illness and administer physical exams.


Specialize in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health, and newborn care.


A medical doctor devoted to the study and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity.


Doctors who specialize in oral health by diagnosing oral diseases, promoting oral health and disease prevention and creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patient.

 Patients & Caregivers


Any Maryland resident whose registered medical provider recommends medical cannabis as a treatment option for a qualifying medical condition. A patient must register with the MMCC.


A caregiver is a person who is able to purchase medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary on behalf of his or her designated patient(s) and transport the legally obtained medical cannabis to the patient(s).

Maryland Medical Cannabis History

April 2012A Maryland state law was enacted to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis.

May 2013Governor Martin O’Malley signed legislation that legalized medical cannabis and established a commission to oversee its implementation.

April 2014Maryland decriminalizes cannabis. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) is established.

November 2015—Initial cannabis business applications accepted by MMCC.

August 201615 medical cannabis growers and 15 medical cannabis processors given pre-approval.

December 2016—Stage-one license pre-approvals were awarded to 102 dispensaries out of a pool of 811 applications.

April 2017On April 24th, the MMCC opened the patient registry to the public for patients with qualifying conditions.

December 2017—After a nearly 5 year delay, the first medical cannabis dispensaries opened their doors to patients.

April 2019 — Legislation establishing four new Maryland medical cannabis grow and 10 more processor licenses becomes law to ensure that Maryland’s medical cannabis industry is diverse and inclusive. Licenses were to be awarded by the MMCC September 2019. Awards are on hold due to ongoing lawsuits filed on the basis that that the MMCC did not comply with policy ensuring diversity and inclusion in Maryland’s medical cannabis industry.