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Maryland’s hot medical marijuana market continues to sizzle – and 2019 sales are on pace to double those from 2018.

Data released by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission show that through the end of July, MMJ sales through the state’s dispensaries were just under $130 million, with average monthly sales of $18.4 million.

Sales between January and December 2018 – the first full year of sales – came in at $109.3 million, a figure that was surpassed in July of this year.

If the state’s sales maintain their average pace from August through December then the 2019 total would be $220 million, twice the level of 2018 sales.

Here’s some background around the situation:

  • Following a four-year delay, medical cannabis sales in Maryland started in December 2017 and the program took off quickly.

  • Drivers behind the state’s robust first year included a strong patient base and abundant dispensaries peppered across Maryland.

  • Growth led regulators to issue a second round of business license applications in mid-2019, with up to four additional cultivators and 10 processors.

  • During an extended application period, more than 200 businesses applied for the 14 licenses, speaking to the level of interest marijuana entrepreneurs have in capturing a piece of the market.

The Medical Cannabis Commission is expected to announce the names of the new licensees in late September.

The new processing licensees will have an additional product segment to look forward to in 2020, as Maryland’s previous ban on edibles will be rolled back Oct. 1.

Sales of edibles will not begin until rules regarding their regulation have been finalized, which is unlikely to occur before the end of the year.

Here’s what else you need to know about MMJ sales in Maryland:

  • Maryland dispensaries sold 17,248 pounds of flower and just over 1.2 million units of infused products between January and July 2019.

  • The latest information released by the state shows that Maryland has 82 licensed dispensaries in operation, 16 cultivators and 17 processors.

  • As of August 27, Maryland’s MMJ program had 107,845 registered patients and 75,802 who had received certification from a provider registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

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