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Medical marijuana in Maryland is off to an excellent start

As of September 2017, four years following the legalization of medical marijuana in Maryland, 19 companies have obtained authorization to grow, process and sell medical marijuana products in our state. Over the last several months, the plants have been growing in preparation for conversion into creams, oils and capsules.

At the beginning of 2018, the marijuana products should be available for sale in marijuana dispensaries throughout the state of Maryland.

The market will dictate how medical marijuana blossoms

According to the executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis commission, the program has been launched. Now, we just have to wait for the market to dictate how medical marijuana moves forward, he said.

At this point, there is only one licensed medical marijuana store in the state of Maryland. Delays in getting more dispensaries authorized have been the result of bureaucratic red tape and legal issues. As a result of these delays, Maryland has been slower than 27 other states in terms of getting medical pot off the ground. Nevertheless, there are 100 dispensaries that have obtained preliminary licensing. These dispensaries have a December deadline within which they need to complete employee background checks and pass final inspection.

Maryland patients are hopeful to get their medicine soon

Patients who can benefit from medical marijuana treatments are hopeful to get their medicine soon. One woman is waiting to receive legal cannabis oil for her 10-year-old daughter who suffers from epilepsy. Medical marijuana, particularly cannabis oil, is an effective treatment for epilepsy in children and adults of all ages. Some individuals have moved out of state to medical marijuana-friendly locations, just to get the life-changing medicine they require.

Almost 13,000 Maryland residents have already signed up to get medical marijuana, and 428 medical providers have obtained registration so they can approve patients for medical marijuana treatments.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law and in other states

No matter how easy it is to obtain medical marijuana in Maryland, the drug will still be illegal under federal law. As such, Maryland residents who are benefiting from medical marijuana need to be careful not to cross state lines, not travel to other states or countries, and not to possess marijuana products on federal property. Being arrested for unauthorized possession of medical marijuana -- or recreational marijuana -- is also a state and federal offense.

If you've been accused of any marijuana crimes in Maryland, be sure to understand your legal rights so you can appropriately defend yourself against the criminal charges in court.

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As Seen on Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hanson