As Questions Linger, Patients Register for Maryland's Medical Cannabis Program

April 17, 2017
Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — About 1,200 patients have registered with the state to eventually obtain medical cannabis — even as lawsuits and political fights cloud the future of the fledgling industry.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission opened its prospective patient registry to Marylanders with last names beginning with letters A through L on Monday. Through Friday morning, more than 1,200 patients had registered, officials said Friday during a commission meeting.

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The commission will open the registration process for prospective patients with names at the end of the alphabet on Monday. The registry will be open to all prospective patients on April 24. Under Maryland law, conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana include chronic pain, seizures, wasting syndrome, anorexia and other ailments.

About 250 physicians have registered to recommend medical marijuana to patients who wish to receive the drug, up from 172 physicians who had registered last November, officials said. A 2005 Supreme Court decisions prohibits doctors from prescribing marijuana — an illegal drug under federal law — but a 2002 federal appeals court decision affirmed doctors' First Amendment right to discuss marijuana with patients and recommend its use.

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