By Fenit Nirappil, Aaron Gregg and Rachel Siegel,
Marylanders interested in buying medical marijuana days after the launch of a state-sanctioned program may already be out of luck.
Five of seven licensed dispensaries that have opened since Friday said they have completely or almost run out of flower — the raw part of the marijuana plant that is smoked or vaporized — and have limited supplies of other cannabis products. The other two stores are limiting sales to a small group of preregistered patients.
Kannavis, in Frederick County, sold out of flower Saturday, its first day in business, but still has pre-filled cartridges that can be attached to vaporizing pens. Owner Jane Klink said she was hoping for additional marijuana shipments before this weekend and was keeping patients updated through the store’s Facebook page, website and email list.
“We don’t have confirmation of anything at this point,” Klink said.
The slow start was expected by industry players and regulators. Advocates are not sounding alarms yet but acknowledged the shortages can be frustrating for patients who have waited nearly five years since the first medical-marijuana legalization bill was signed into law.
“There have been shortages in other states just because the demand is so overwhelming, especially initially,” said Kate Bell, a lawyer for the Marijuana Policy Project.
Jake Van Wingerden, who leads a group of growers and processors as president of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association, said it will take 60 to 90 days before Maryland’s legal cannabis growers can ramp up to fully meet supply.
So far, only Curio Wellness, one of the first growers to receive its license, has shipped marijuana to retail sellers, according to interviews with dispensary owners. A