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Shift Cannabis Co. Submits Medical Marijuana License Applications in Hawaii and Maryland

Feb 22, 2016 Editorials and Insight

Over the course of just four months, Shift Cannabis Co. has completed and submitted two full medical marijuana license applications to Hawaii and Maryland as those states seek to expand their medical marijuana programs to include licensed cultivation and retail medical marijuana operations.

 

As of 2016, 23 states and Washington D.C. have medical marijuana programs, but only a handful have a regulated cannabis industry or allow the sale of medical marijuana to qualified patients. Even then, in some states, the gaps between state and local regulations make marijuana ordinances extremely difficult to navigate for businesses and many dispensaries and cultivation facilities are raided and shut down, which ultimately delivers a setback to the normalization of cannabis by scarring the public image of an otherwise harmless and job-producing industry.

 

Add Maryland and Hawaii, though, to the list of states that now permit the sale of medical marijuana with the intention to strictly regulate the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana. The state will have access, by request, to perpetual inventory records of each plant grown and sold by each operating business. This system, also called “seed-to-sale”, allows state regulatory agencies and local law enforcement to view the contents of each package of medical marijuana via unique bar codes produced by marijuana inventory tracking and point of sale systems. To address the issue of inventory tracking and to ensure no medical marijuana is diverted into a criminal network, or black market, Maryland and Hawaii have taken similar approaches. Maryland specified in their license application that all licensees must employ a perpetual inventory control system that tracks the stock of medical cannabis from the time the cannabis is propagated from seed or cutting to the time it is delivered to a dispensary, processor or qualifying patient or caregiver. Meanwhile, the state of Hawaii awarded a license to the seed-to-sale software company, BioTrackTHC, to facilitate enterprise resource planning, complete inventory tracking, point­​of­​sale, marketing, financial reporting and regulatory compliance for each licensee.

 

It is yet to be determined what medical marijuana dispensaries – Hawaii calls them retail dispensing locations – will look like in these states when fully implemented. However, expected licensees have a pretty good idea. The process of applying for medical or retail marijuana business is lengthy, exhausting and is the make-or-break step for launching a career in the marijuana industry as an entrepreneur or business owner. Thus, it is important to access marijuana market data in appropriate regions, prepare teams of investors, doctors, community leaders and other figureheads that will assist the growth and success of the business before final applications are drafted. Then, it is integral to have a writing team to navigate  and communicate the byzantine regulatory framework proposed in each state, county and even locality. By doing this, and incorporating Shift Cannabis Co. into the application process, our teams in both Maryland and Hawaii are poised for high profits and heavy, consistant medical marijuana production. Per capita, Hawaii is among states with the highest rates of marijuana use. Despite the level of consumption and semi-normalized cannabis culture, the state is only permitting eight dispensaries on four islands. Conversely, Maryland is expected to have a maximum of 94 dispensaries but only 15 cultivation facilities. It is still undetermined how many medical marijuana patients will be registered in Maryland.

 

Both Maryland and Hawaii are allowing the regulated manufacture of marijuana products including concentrates and Shift included extraction plans in both proposals. Shift Cannabis Co., as proven experts in all aspects of cannabis industrial operations, offers extraction expertise to include facility design, equipment consulting, training, and documented day-to-day cannabis extraction operations. Shift Cannabis Co. is proud to engage in medical marijuana programs that enhance public safety and expand patient-access to potentially life-saving medicine. Moving forward, it is expected that more states will follow models set forth by progressive state medical marijuana programs like those in Colorado, Maryland and Hawaii. Shift Cannabis Co.'s devoted research team offers precision strategies to tackle these extensive licensing processes, which vary greatly from state to state. Hawaii is rapidly reviewing applications and is expected to award licenses in April 2016. Maryland, on the other hand, is expected to review the 1,000 or more applications that were submitted in due time, as they have extended the decision date to at least summer of 2016.

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