Article - Health - General
(a) There is a Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission.
(b) The Commission is an independent commission that functions within the Department.
(c) The purpose of the Commission is to develop policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner.
(d) (1) The Commission shall develop identification cards for qualifying patients and caregivers.
(2) (i) The Department shall adopt regulations that establish the requirements for identification cards provided by the Commission.
(ii) The regulations adopted under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall include:
1. The information to be included on an identification card;
2. The method through which the Commission will distribute identification cards; and
3. The method through which the Commission will track identification cards.
(e) The Commission shall develop and maintain a website that:
(1) Provides information on how an individual can obtain medical cannabis in the State;
(2) Provides contact information for licensed dispensaries;
(3) Provides information concerning the collateral consequences, with respect to federal law, of registering as a qualifying patient or caregiver; and
(4) Discloses, with the exception of any confidential or proprietary information:
(i) The methodology for the ranking of applicants for licensure under this subtitle; and
(ii) The results of any rankings of applicants for licensure under this subtitle.
(f) (1) The Commission shall:
(i) Conduct ongoing, thorough, and comprehensive outreach to small, minority, and women business owners and entrepreneurs who may have an interest in applying for medical cannabis grower, processor, or dispensary licenses; and
(ii) Make grants to appropriate educational and business development organizations to train and assist small, minority, and women business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to become licensed as medical cannabis growers, processors, or dispensaries.
(2) The outreach required under paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection shall include:
(i) Developing partnerships with:
1. Traditional minority–serving institutions in the State and surrounding jurisdictions, including historically black colleges and universities;
2. Trade associations representing minority and women–owned businesses; and
3. The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs;
(ii) Establishing and conducting training programs for employment in the medical cannabis industry;
(iii) Disseminating information about the licensing process for medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries through media demonstrated to reach large numbers of minority and women business owners and entrepreneurs; and
(iv) Collaborating with the partners described in item (i) of this paragraph to ensure that outreach is appropriately targeted.
(3) The Commission and the entities with which the Commission develops partnerships under paragraph (2)(i) of this subsection shall comply with federal and State laws in performing the actions required under paragraph (2)(ii) through (iv) of this subsection.
(g) (1) The Commission shall partner with the Maryland Department of Labor to identify employment opportunities within the medical cannabis industry for job seekers, dislocated workers, and ex–offenders.
(2) In performing the duties required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Commission and the Maryland Department of Labor shall comply with federal and State laws.
(h) If the Commission retains a third party to assist the Commission in the evaluation or ranking of applications for licensure under this subtitle, the Commission may not retain the services of a person that:
(1) Has a direct or indirect financial, ownership, or management interest, including ownership of any stocks, bonds, or other similar financial instruments, in:
(i) Any State–licensed medical cannabis grower, processor, or dispensary; or
(ii) An applicant for licensure under this subtitle; or
(2) Has an official relationship with a person who holds a license under this subtitle or an applicant for licensure under this subtitle.