On May 6, 2021, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (“MMCC”) issued Bulletin 2021–006 providing revised rules and requirements for the manufacture and sale of edible cannabis products. The May 6, 2021 Bulletin revised and amended the MMCC’s April 9, 2021 Bulletin on the same subject. The revised Bulletin includes updated packaging and labeling requirements and provides for delayed enforcement deadlines for certain licensed processors to come into compliance with the new packaging and labeling requirements.
Under COMAR 10.62.24.01 and 10.62.29.01, all medical cannabis products, regardless of whether they are edibles, must now have the MMCC-approved Universal Symbol and the following statements:
- “Consumption of medical cannabis may impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Please use extreme caution.”
- “There may be health risks associated with cannabis use, especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding.”
- “This package contains cannabis. Keep out of the reach of children and animals.”
The legal Maryland medical cannabis program includes several products that were on the market prior to April 19, 2021, and fall under the COMAR’s recently enacted definition of edible products. The licensed processors of such products have until 90 days after such date (until July 18, 2021) to adopt the MMCC’s new label requirements. All other edible medical cannabis products must comply with packaging and labeling requirements as of April 19, 2021.
The Bulletin also identifies several other regulatory restrictions regarding the manufacture and sale of edible products. More specifically, edibles must be approved by the MMCC before they can be sold or distributed to a dispensary. Also, unless specifically permitted by the MMCC, edibles cannot contain over 10 mg of THC per serving, nor can they contain over 100 mg of THC per package. Additionally, dispensaries may not receive, store, or distribute edibles that are not shelf-stable without establishing standard operating procedures for the receipt, storage, and distribution of such edibles and also passing an MMCC inspection.
The new rules conveyed in this Bulletin require Maryland edibles to be rigorously vetted prior to reaching patients. The rules will also enable patients to be better informed about any edibles they purchase, as a result of the detailed product labels and dosage limitations. Legible and understandable product labels reduce the risk of overdosing or underdosing and patients who consume edibles should closely follow the dosing instructions given to them by their physicians.
Several licensed medical cannabis processors in Maryland recently announced they will be introducing new edible products, and many other licensed processors are likely to follow soon. The contemplated expansion of edibles in Maryland is likely to be well received by consumers, if Maryland’s purchase preferences are consistent with the rest of the country. The popularity of edibles throughout the U.S. rose sharply in 2020. Headset, a Seattle-based cannabis analytics firm, reported that sales of adult-use and medical edibles grew by 60% across seven state markets: from $767 million in 2019 to $1.23 billion in 2020. Although the pandemic seems to finally be coming to an end, edibles are expected to remain in high demand over the next several years.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the MMCC’s revised bulletin or any other Maryland-related cannabis law issue, feel free to contact Jonathan Wachs via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 301-575-0302.
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