As they say, it’s better late than never!
Maryland legalized cannabis for medical use in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the medical cannabis industry actually opened for business. For this reason it isn’t unusual for Maryland to drag its feet when it comes to cannabis edibles in Maryland.
While medical cannabis sales have been steadily soaring since they began in 2017, the state has never had edibles on the menu. But that will be changing as soon as December.
Legalization of Medical Cannabis Edibles in Maryland
In May, 2019 Governor Larry Hogan signed cannabis edibles into the law. Over the last year and a half it has been quiet as the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission pulled together well-rounded regulations for cannabis edibles in Maryland.
In early November 2020, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission released its draft regulations for the new cannabis edibles in Maryland law. It is a lengthy script of requirements for manufacturing, processing, packaging, dosages, retail and more. But these regulations aren’t set in stone, hence why they are “draft” regulations.
The regulations are currently on the Maryland Register website for a 30-day public comment period. So for a month following its release, the public will have the ability to comment and criticize the regulations, which will lead to another editing session.
After this 30-day period, all comments will be taken in and edits on the regulation will begin. The MMCC does not specify how long this process may take. Once completed, the regulations will be submitted for one last 15-day notice period.
While they don’t specify how long their editing process may take, the MMCC did claim that the final regulations should be approved by late December or early January.
The draft regulations span several pages with details pertaining to every aspect of cannabis edibles in Maryland, from transportation to retail packaging. But there are some key regulations that cover the basics.
For dosages, the MMCC will require all cannabis edibles in Maryland to contain no more than 10mg of THC per dose, and no more than 100mg of THC per package. They also recommend having 2.5mg and 5mg options as well. As for the packaging of the edibles, labelling will be consistent with the industry standard in Maryland with a THC label. With the addition of the edible element, packaging is also required to include ingredients and even a list of any synthetic or natural preservatives added into the product.
To go a step farther, the regulation will actually require those interested in producing cannabis edibles in Maryland to submit their complete recipe, including the production process in order to be approved. Similarly to other states, cannabis edibles in Maryland can’t resemble any shape that might be appealing to children, with the MMCC specifying that edibles should be designed in a “geometric” shape.
And like other states with cannabis edibles, Maryland will require lab testing of edibles for THC and other cannabinoids in addition to any microbiological impurities.
Regulations subject to change
Like we said, these regulations for cannabis edibles in Maryland are subject to change after the 30-day public comment period. However it is unlikely that much will change from the original regulation so that it can move forward before the end of the year.
Once approved, manufacturing and retail sale of cannabis edibles in Maryland will be permitted, and there are already dispensaries ready to take on the challenge.
Culta in Baltimore designed their vertically integrated operation to include a kitchen that could be used with the anticipation of edibles eventually being made legal. Culta’s owner Mackie Barch commented on the big move.
“Getting into food manufacturing or beverage manufacturing requires very different tools and skillsets than we have had in the industry so far,” Barch explained. “Entirely new spaces are required for food manufacturing, and there are very specific rules about how the rooms have to be designed… A lot of people are going to have to go back and redesign their facilities to get ready for this.”