It was back in May when Maryland legalized medicinal cannabis edibles. Edibles are food infused with marijuana, allowing patients to get the medicine they need without smoking or vaping it, something that could be even more dangerous to their health. However, while the law was passed, there is still a lot of work to do, and Maryland lawmakers will likely create legislation pertaining to edibles throughout the year.
“It is not always possible to take medicine in a form that is comfortable to the patient,” says Kush Arora of Price Benowitz LLP. “This allows people to do it, so why not? With what we now know about medicinal cannabis, is it really any different than buying vitamins in gummy form? However, separate legislation is required to keep people safe, particularly those unfamiliar with edibles.”
That is what the new laws will focus on. It is predicted the new laws will place a focus on packaging. In other states, large portions of edibles were sold at one time, and all in one package. That led to patients visiting emergency rooms after eating too much in one dose.
Other expected legislation pertaining to the packaging of edibles will likely include child-proof packages. This is to keep the drug out of the hands of children, particularly when that package holds a lollipop or gummy candy that children do not understand contains a drug that could be harmful to them.
It is also thought that different standards will be applied to baked goods, edibles in liquid form, and gummy products. This will ensure equal distribution of the medicine, regardless of the form one chooses to take it.
When passing the new legislation earlier this year, lawmakers were also very careful not to classify edibles as food. Doing so would require oversight from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and the Department of Health’s food safety division. That oversight is largely redundant.
This classification, or lack thereof, is the model used in the 30 other states that have legalized medicinal marijuana edibles. That does not mean there will not be any oversight in the edibles market, though. The Commission will still regulate the edibles market, ensuring they are safe for those that use them.
The new law does not mean that edibles will be on the market any time soon. With a full year of debating the laws surrounding them, it will be some time before anyone can enter a dispensary and ask for them. Hopefully when that happens, the laws will not be so tight they prevent people from gaining easy access to the medicine they need.
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