A panel of experts and advocates provided information and answered questions about medical cannabis at the closing session of the 2015 MACo December Winter Conference. The title of the December 11 session was “Separating Myth From Fact on Medical Cannabis.”
Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim outlined the legislative history of medical cannabis in Maryland, noting that the first bill was introduced in 1980 by Delegate Wade Kach, followed with legislation in 2000 by Delegate Don Murphy. Morhaim noted that the ultimately successful legislation introduced in 2013-2015 had bipartisan support. Morhaim also discussed medical research on the efficacy of cannabis. He closed by describing the State’s application process for growers, processors, and dispensaries, noting the “overwhelming response” in license applications. Morhaim also stressed that Maryland is the only state to impose robust data collection requirements for medical cannabis.
Peak Harvest Health CEO Ethan Ruby noted that Maryland has very strict rules governing medical cannabis and complimented the state on its approach. Ruby stressed the need to have “good and proven operators.” He briefly discussed financial oversight issues, stating that reputable medical cannabis companies will have banking solutions and will not be “cash only” businesses.
Ruby also highlighted security best practices, noting that transport between grower and processor is the most vulnerable time for the product. He also stressed the need for regulated and mandatory product testing and quality assurance.
WitnessOne, LLC Chairman and CEO Taylor Jackson also discussed security issues. He noted that at the growing site, diversion is the most serious security concern. He illustrated technology that can track individual cannabis plant DNA all the way from growth to sale. Jackson also demonstrated the Genesis One system for real-time verification and monitoring of cannabis during transport using a smart phone and computer. Jackson noted that law enforcement agencies can access the Genesis One system for free.
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner moderated the panel.