Dispensary FAQ's

​What are the guidelines for purchasing a scale used in direct sale transactions? 

  • Scales must be NTEP- (National Type Evaluation Program) approved devices. The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) provides a searchable database for scales and POS software systems at: https://www.ncwm.net/ntep/cert
  • In order for a scale to be suitable for the application, the scale units must be at least .01 gram. This scale unit value is identified as the verification scale interval or "e". Contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Weights and Measures Office for clarification if needed at (410) 841-5790.
  • Scale indications, as well as the weighing operation (scale platter) must be visible to the customer during any transaction. The scale must be positioned so the operator and the customer can observe the scale readings. An auxiliary scale weight display may be installed for the customer to meet this requirement.
  • If packaging materials or containers are used during the weighing process, the scale or weighing system must be capable of taking tare in order that the customer is not charged for wrappers, containers, or any other packaging materials. All sales must be in terms of net weight.
  • Any Point-of-Sale software that is directly interfaced with a commercially used scale must have its own NTEP Certificate of Conformance.
  • Product price posting and advertisements must have the unit price expressed in the same units of the scale used to complete the transaction. Additional or supplemental declaration may be expressed in other units as long as the conversions are mathematically correct and clear. 
  • Once a scale is purchased the dispensary may contact a Maryland registered scale service technician and service agency to place the scale or scale POS system into commercial service. http://mda.maryland.gov/weights_measures/pages/service_companies.aspx
  • Commercial scales used in transactions must be registered with The Maryland Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Program. Notify the Weights and Measures Office with make and model of scale at 410-841-5790.​

What services will a dispensary be able to provide?
Dispensaries may distribute or sell medical cannabis in processed form or dried flower and devices to administer medical cannabis and provide delivery services to patients and caregivers. Each dispensary also has a Clinical Director available on-site or via electronic communication to educate patients and caregivers on various aspects of medical cannabis treatment for the patient's qualifying condition, including drug-to-drug interactions and side effects.

Are dispensaries subject to State inspection?
Yes, all dispensaries located in Maryland and licensed by the MCA are subject to announced or unannounced inspections to ensure compli​ance with state law and regulations. The MCA is authorized by statute to inspect dispensaries on an ongoing basis.

Can a dispensary lose its license?
Yes. In the case of a major deficiency, or a failded inspection, the MCA has the statutory authority to take action, including the revocaton of a dispensary license.

Is the consumption of medical cannabis allowed at the premises of a licensed dispensary?
No; consumption on the premises is not allowed. Before medical cannabis is dispensed, regulations require patients to sign a statement that they understand that they are not immune from liability for any prohibition on smoking cannabis in a public place, in a motor vehicle or on private property that is rented or where it is prohibited by the property owner or undertaking any task under the influence of medical cannabis, when doing so would constit​​ute negligence or professional malpractice.

Are different strains or products available at different dispensaries?
Yes. Many dispensaries offer different strains of dried cannabis flower with different properties designed to help treat various ailments. In addition to the cannabis flower, dispensaries offer cannabis products such as oils, concentrates, topical ointments, waxes, tinctures, dermal patches, suppositories, salves and capsules. Edible cannabis products are also available at some Maryland dispensaries.​

Does a "secure transportation company" require a separate license from the State of Maryland?
No; however, the MCA does require registration or ancillary businesses with the MCA. Ancillary businesses include secure transportation companies, delivery services, security guard companies and waste disposal companies. Upon approval, the MCA will notify the registrant and instruct them on how to obtain agent badge identification.​​

Are employees and volunteers at a licensed medical cannabis grower, processor, or dispensary required to submit to a criminal background check?
Yes. All grower, processor and dispensary agents are required by regulation to undergo a criminal history background check. Agents are defined as an owner, a member, an employee, a volunteer, an officer or a director of a licensed grower, processor or dispensary.

May a transportation agent have non-Maryland driver's license?
Yes. A transportation agent is not required to hold a Maryland driver's license.

What should I bring to the dispensary?
Patients must bring a valid, unexpired government-issued ID, MCA patient ID card or registration number, and a printed copy of their unexpired written certification.

Will it be necessary to conduct background checks for employees who do not handle cannabis, such as janitorial staff?

An agent of a registered ancillary business must register with the MCA and obtain an agent badge before providing any support for or service to a medical cannabis licensee even if the employee does not handle medical cannabis.

While any subcontractor may register with the MCA, the subcontractor registration is not required. However, should the subcontractor not be registered with the MCA, then, they are considered a visitor to a non-public area, and the grower, processor, or dispensary will be required to:

  1. Log the visitor in and out of the premises.
  2. Retain a photocopy of the visitor's government-issued identification.
  3. Continually visually supervise the visitor while on the premises.
  4. Ensure that the visitor does not touch any plant or medical cannabis; and 
  5. Maintain a log of all visitors to non-public areas for two years​

Can a person with particular skill be employed full or part-time by more than one grower, processor, or dispensary?
Yes, however, the agent would need to obtain a separate MCA registration with respect to each distinct licensing category (grower, processor, or dispensary) at a cost $200 per registration.

Can a person be an agent for a grower, processor and a dispensary?
Yes but please keep in mind the separate registration requirements for growers, processors, and dispensaries licensing categories.

What is a "resident"?

A resident is defined as a person who lives in Maryland. A person may demonstrate Maryland residency by providing one or more of the following:

  1. ​Most recent Maryland tax return.
  2. Most recent Maryland property tax bill.
  3. Local gas and electric bill that is no more than four months old.
  4. Valid Maryland driver's license; or 
  5. Another record that corroborates the Maryland residency.​​

If our organization obtains a license to be a dispensary and a license to be a processor, may we locate both of the operations to be carried out under these separate licenses at a single location?
Yes, if the building is constructed so that the processor and dispensary are two completely different units, each with a unique address that is independent of the other. The dispensary and processor facility may share one common roof. However, the two premises must each have a separate means of ingress and egress and under no circumstances may the two premises have any means of internal ingress or egress between the dispensary and the processor.

If a dispensary agent confiscates a patient or caregiver ID card from a person to whom it has not been issued and returns it to the MCA pursuant to COMARD, does the dispensary or dispensary agent need to submit an incident report?
MCA regulations do not specify or require that an incident report accompany the return of a confiscated patient and/or caregiver ID card. However, it would be good practice for the dispensary to prepare an explanation of why it is transmitting a patient or caregiver ID card to the MCA.

Is medical cannabis use by pregnant women safe?
The MCA urges for caution against the misuse of medical cannabis obtained from licensed Maryland dispensaries. The MCA reviewed published studies concerning medical cannabis use and its impact on pregnant women. Some studies' conclusions point out the adverse effects medical cannabis can have on pregnant women. Overall, scientific research has not established the safety of the use of medical cannabis by pregnant women.

How much medical cannabis and medical cannabis-infused product can a patient obtain in 30 days?

Since medical cannabis and medical cannabis-infused products vary in their cannabinoid profile and potencies, MCA wanted to ensure that patients would be able to obtain sufficient medical cannabis each month to provide relief of their symptoms. As such, the MCA established 120 grams of usable cannabis (primarily dried flower) as a 30-day supply.

The MCA also recognized that medical cannabis-infused products cannot be measured in the same way as dried flower cannabis and set a limit of 36 grams of THC as a 30-day supply. Each batch of usable cannabis will state the THC quantity (expressed as a percentage). The dispensary will calculate the weight of the THC in each transaction of usable cannabis and will not dispense medical cannabis-infused products in a 30-day period that exceeds the 36-gram limit​.