Patients in the Old Line State have been waiting for more than four years for the ability to purchase medical cannabis legally and now the wait is finally over. On Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, the first batch of Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries opened their doors to serve the state’s patients, as reported by the Associated Press.
“It’s amazing. It’s really the start of the culmination of a four-year journey for us,” said Bill Askinazi, co-owner of Potomac Holistics in Rockville, to WAMU. “We are excited to be pioneers in this cannabis industry, yes. And we’re more excited to see how many people we can help, and how we’re going to help them.”
Potomac Holistics couldn’t keep up with the demand from patients this past weekend as the company announced on Dec. 2 that it was already sold out.
“Due to overwhelming demand we have sold out of product and will be CLOSED on Sunday, December 3 and Monday December 4. We expect to receive new strains and supply around mid to end of this coming week. Please check our website www.potomacholistics.com or Facebook for updated information,” the company wrote in a Facebook post.
Allegany Medical Marijuana Dispensary also opened on Dec. 1, and while it didn’t sell out of product, it faced hurdles of its own.
“Our first day of dispensing was certainly memorable to say the least. With any new industry there are hiccups and delays,” the company wrote on Facebook. “Our order was delayed by over 5 hours on Friday and there were several issues with how the order was coded by the grower. To make matters more complicated, our dispensing software decided to freeze up and stop printing patient labels. Talk about a storm.”
Even with an opening day full of challenges, AMMD was able to see the positive in it all.
“We have a great team of employees here who stayed until 3 am to get patients their medication. Our software vendor MJ Freeway’s CEO got her staff together to fix the issues. Lastly, the patients were understanding and waited with us until we could get things moving,” the company explained.
While some dispensaries such as Potomac Holistics and AMMD opened on Dec. 1, others like Southern Maryland Relief are waiting to open until they are properly stocked and ready to surmount potential opening-day challenges.
“The wait is frustrating. We know. And we know we keep saying it. But we do not want to announce anything and be beset by the problems and delays and selling out of product like some others did today. Just hang in there a little longer. It IS coming very soon. And when it does we will be prepared for ALL of you,” Southern Maryland Relief said in statement on Facebook.
As of Nov. 29, there are 10 licensed Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has another 102 prospective dispensary licensees in the pre-approval process.