Maryland marijuana dispensaries learn how to do business

Attorney Darren Weiss Featured on WBAL

George Lettis, WBAL

Click on the image to play the video interview.

Buying marijuana for medicinal purposes only is still months away in Maryland, but the industry is gearing up for the logistical and legal issues of selling cannabis products.

Some of Maryland’s first dispensaries spent Monday learning, from soup to nuts, how to run a cannabis business.

Dr. Jahan Marcu is the chief science officer at Americans for Safe Access, a nonprofit that recently released a study of medical marijuana dispensaries in other states.

“Eighty percent of dispensary staff were trained without scientific or medical information involved in their training,” Marcu said.

Marcu trains medical marijuana companies on the product they sell and the wide range of unique implications of operating such a business.

“We’re talking about ancient history, modern medicine and really redefining what medicine is,” Marcu said.

From the complicated science of cannabis to the practical issues of a business, Americans for Safe Access also trains people to deal with the legal limbo of medical marijuana.

“What do you do when the (Drug Enforcement Administration) knocks at your door of your dispensary? And so we also train our members to be able to deal with federal law enforcement encounters,” Marcu said.

Operating a medical marijuana company is legal in Maryland, but it’s technically a federal crime.

“So every day that you go into work, every dollar that you earn, frankly, even being in this room talking about how to set up a cannabis operation, is aiding and abetting a federal crime, and so you have to walk this line,” said Darren Weiss. He runs the newly formed cannabis division of the Howard County law firm Offit Kurman, which represents medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries.

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A frequent author and speaker on legal issues affecting the medical cannabis industry, Darren H. Weiss is a medical cannabis thought leader and a seasoned business counselor and litigator. Mr. Weiss, an attorney with the law firm Offit Kurman, PA, has built his practice working with businesses to maintain, preserve, and protect their most valuable assets. A passionate and experienced legal advocate, Mr. Weiss’s practice focuses on medical cannabis and employment law. His cannabis law practice includes regulatory and compliance work, business transactions and corporate guidance, and labor and employment. Mr. Weiss’s employment practice spans from advice and counsel to defense of collective and class action litigation, charges of harassment and discrimination, and enforcement of restrictive covenants. Mr. Weiss represents clients in a wide variety of industries, including medical care, manufacturing, professional services, and financial services.






Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 135 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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