Maryland’s Approval of Thirty Medical Marijuana Businesses Shadows Florida’s Efforts

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Three years ago, Maryland regulators first legalized marijuana for medical use. Maryland has recently nurtured its commitment to the medical cannabis movement, awarding thirty businesses with licenses to grow and process medical marijuana.

Maryland Regulators Balance Economic Growth with Consumer Safety.

Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana, including Maryland. Though many of these states focus on reaping economic benefits from the budding industry, they also protect the public by closely examining businesses that seek state approval.

For example, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission received approximately 150 applications for a license to grow marijuana and 125 applications for a license to process marijuana plants into consumable products. The Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University recruited experts to evaluate and score each application, but state-appointed members of the cannabis commission gave the final approval.

Only fifteen applicants were approved from each group. Even with initial approval, the thirty chosen ones are not formally licensed to operate until they pass additional background checks and a facility inspection.

Florida’s Minimal Efforts May Harm Its Senior Citizen Population.

In 2014, Florida adopted laws to allow two types of medical marijuana: (1) non-euphoric strains, such as “Charlotte’s Web,” that is thought to help control seizures and ease symptoms of certain other medical conditions; and (2) full-strength marijuana to alleviate pain, nausea and other symptoms for patients considered terminally ill.

While Maryland has approved fifteen growers, Florida has only approved five, artificially restricting access and competition in the medical marijuana industry. Florida’s relatively slow movement in this industry is even more problematic considering that Florida has many more citizens who could benefit from the drug.

For instance, Florida and Maryland have a population of approximately 20 million people and 6 million people, respectively. Further, 19.5% of Florida’s population is made up of people who are 65 years and older (3,900,000 people), while only 14% of Maryland’s population is in that same age group (840,000 people).

Florida’s four million senior citizens have a greater risk of health issues than its younger citizens. Accordingly, state regulators should ensure that they have adequate access to medical marijuana. When Florida’s population and demographics are compared to that of states like Maryland, it is clear that Florida is not supporting or nurturing its medical marijuana industry in a suitable manner.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.
To contact the Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealth The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone; (407) 331-6620.


Aaron Gregg and Fenit Nirappil. “The first players in Maryland’s medical marijuana industry have political ties.” Washington Post. (Aug. 15, 2016). Web.

“QuickFacts.” United States Census Bureau. Web.

KeyWords: Maryland medical marijuana use, Florida medical marijuana use, legal counsel for medical marijuana, marijuana defense attorney, marijuana for scientific research, medical marijuana attorneys, marijuana growers attorney, Charlotte’s Webb, The Health Law Firm Reviews, legal representation for medical marijuana growers, health lawyer, The Health Law Firm Attorney Reviews, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.


Like this blog? Add your public comments:

Items in bold indicate required information.