Dispensaries unable to verify patients’ allotments because the state tracking system is experiencing slowdowns can still sell limited portions of cannabis through Monday, the Maryland Cannabis Administration announced late Friday.
The agency responsible for overseeing the state’s cannabis industry said the “emergent and temporary exception” applies to all licensed medical dispensaries and will allow businesses to remain legally compliant while issues are being resolved.
Maryland’s OneStop system tracks every medical cannabis sale on a rolling 30-day basis. The network used by every medical dispensary ensures patients don’t overpurchase by jumping from one shop to the next. This means it’s critical for the network to update in real time.
In the event a dispensary cannot verify how much a patient has left during their 30-day period, the special exception allows a store to sell 12 grams of dried flower or processed products, such as edibles, “not to exceed a total of 2500 mg THC,” according to the Maryland Cannabis Administration.
Tia Lewis, a spokesperson for the cannabis administration, said the exception was issued out of “an abundance of caution” after hearing of “intermittent issues” from “a few dispensaries.”
Lewis said in a statement the lag affects only “a few hundred” medical cannabis patients that became certified this week and that Metrc, the company that maintains the system, is working to resolve the issue.
Anthony Darby, vice president of brand development at Far & Dotter in Lutherville, said the dispensary was experiencing some irregularities Thursday and Friday, and similar technical issues have happened in the past.
“Dispensaries are usually given this kind of troubleshooting guidance so they may continue to sell to patients,” he said.
With two weeks until the full rollout of cannabis use for adults, Darby said he’s “hopeful the state’s system, which all dispensaries are required to use, will be firing on all cylinders.”
Currently, certified medical cannabis users are the only Marylanders allowed to consume weed until July 1, when adult-use marijuana becomes legal for anyone 21 and older. The medical program will remain in place, including the tracking system, after recreational cannabis becomes legal.
Patients can only make one purchase during the exception period and can face discipline for violating this emergency rule, possibly risking their medical card. Purchases made over the weekend will be reconciled against monthly allotments once the system is back up. Dispensaries violating the guidelines could face thousands in fines and a loss of their license under certain circumstances.