Tag: marijuana legalization

NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition

DENVER, CO — The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing.

With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the workforce due to a positive drug test — even where the use does not effect an individuals job performance or has taken place days or weeks prior to the test.

NORML believes that this practice is discriminatory and defies common sense. As a result, a growing coalition of NORML Chapters in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington have come together to advocate for necessary legislative and workplace reforms to protect responsible marijuana consumers.

NORML’s Workplace Drug Testing Coalition’s efforts will focus on these four areas:

  1. Reform workplace drug testing policies
  2. Expand employment opportunities for marijuana consumers
  3. Clarify the difference between detection technology and performance testing
  4. Highlight off-duty state law legal protections for employees

“Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and consuming off the clock as a result of out-of-date employment practices,” said Kevin Mahmalji, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML. “That is why many NORML chapters active in legal states are now shifting their attention to protecting honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from these sort of antiquated, discriminatory workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random suspicionless urine testing.”

Employer testing of applicants or employees for trace metabolites (inert waste-products) of past use of a legal substance makes no sense in the 21st century. This activity is particularly discriminatory in the case of marijuana where such metabolites may be detectable for weeks or even months after the consumer has ceased use.

With the 2017 Legislative Session underway, this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. Legislation has already been introduced in Oregon and Washington , and is gaining traction in those states.

“Random suspicionless drug testing of applicants or employees for past marijuana use is not just unfair and discriminatory, it’s bad for business,” said attorney Judd Golden of Boulder, Colorado, a long-time NORML activist and Coalition spokesperson. The modern workforce includes countless qualified people like Brandon Coats of Colorado, a paraplegic medical marijuana patient who never was impaired on the job and had an unblemished work record. Brandon was fired from a Fortune 500 company after a random drug test, and lost his case in the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015. The Court unfortunately found Colorado’s lawful off-duty activities law that protects employees for legal activities on their own time didn’t apply to marijuana use.”

California NORML is also expecting legislation to be introduced this session to address this issue. Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML said, “One of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California last November is, ‘Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?’ Sadly in our state, not even medical marijuana patients are protected against job discrimination, and it’s a priority of Cal NORML to change that. We are hoping to get a bill introduced at the state level and are working with legislators, unions, and other reform groups to make that happen.”

NORML Chapters across the country are advocating on behalf of the rights of responsible marijuana consumers against discrimination in the workplace. “Our coalition was formed with the intention of not only educating legislators, but also with businesses in mind. It is important they know testing for marijuana is not mandatory, and that employers have testing options,” said Jordan Person, executive director for Denver NORML. The Denver chapter is currently working with companies that offer performance impairment testing of workers suspected of on-the-job impairment or use rather than unreliable bodily fluid testing to help provide options for employers.

For decades drug testing companies and others have pushed their agenda through a campaign of misinformation. Until now there has never been an organized effort to challenge the profit- driven ideology of those who seek to benefit from intrusive drug screening. Mounting evidence continues to prove there is no logical reason why adult marijuana consumers should be treated with any less respect, restricted more severely, and denied the same privileges we extend to responsible adults who enjoy a casual cocktail after a long day at the office.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has been America’s Marijuana Consumer Lobby for nearly 50 years. The Washington DC-based nonprofit leads local, state and federal lobbying efforts to represent the interests of marijuana consumers.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Over 50 Vermont Attorneys Urge Legislature to End Marijuana Prohibition

MONTPELIER, VT — More than 50 Vermont attorneys have signed a letter urging the Legislature to “reform our state’s outdated and unjust policies towards cannabis by passing a bill to legalize and regulate its cultivation and sale for adult use in 2017.”

The letter will be presented to lawmakers at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on H. 170, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. ET in Room 30 of the Vermont State House.

Hose Bill 170 is a bipartisan proposal to eliminate penalties for possession and cultivation of personal amounts of marijuana by adults 21 and older. It also reduces penalties for possession and cultivation of larger amounts of marijuana.

The letter highlights the harms caused by prohibition laws, which it notes are unevenly enforced across racial and geographic lines:

“Vermont’s current cannabis policy — predominantly criminal prohibition, with civil penalties for minor possession — has created an inconsistent and confusing patchwork of enforcement that varies from county to county and town to town. … Regulating possession, cultivation and sale will help end these grossly unjust and potentially unconstitutional disparities.”

The letter also discusses the recent passage of laws regulating marijuana for adult use in Massachusetts and Maine, as well as Canada’s plans to adopt a similar policy later this year:

“It is inevitable that entrepreneurs and businesses in neighboring jurisdictions will establish retail locations as close to Vermont as possible in order to cater to Vermont citizens who wish to be free from the dangers of the unregulated market, as well as the tourists drawn to our state. Rather than watching as cannabis policy is shaped by those around us who do not consider Vermonters concerns, the Legislature should seize the opportunity to design sensible drug policy that puts the public interest, social justice, and the rule of law at the forefront. …

“We cannot afford to wait and watch any longer as other jurisdictions reap the benefits of regulation while we continue to pay for the consequences of prohibition.”

The full letter and list of signers is available here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New Hampshire Marijuana Bill Decriminalization Advances; Legalization Bill Killed

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire won’t be joining neighboring states of Maine and Massachusetts in legalizing marijuana, but the Granite State could soon follow the rest of their New England neighbors in treating marijuana possession as a violation, rather than a crime that carries a penalty including the possibility of jail time.

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 14 to 2 on Tuesday to advance a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, but elected to send a bill that would legalize marijuana for adults to further study, effectively killing the measure for the year.

House Bill 640, sponsored by a bi-partisan coalition of six Republican and six Democrat lawmakers, would would reduce the penalty for marijuana possession of up to one ounce by someone 21 years old or older to a violation, punishable only by a fine. Fines would be set at $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offens, or $350 for a third or subsequent offense.  The bill was advanced on a 14 to 2 vote, and will now be considered by the full House.

Meanwhile, House Bill 656, which would have legalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish, and personal cultivation of six cannabis plants, for adults 21 or older was held for further study by a vote of 15 to 1, effectively killing the bill for the year.

New Hampshire has fallen behind the rest of its New England neighbors when it comes to reforming marijuana laws.  Possession of any amount of marijuana in New Hampshire is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $350.

The other five New England states have, at the very least, decriminalized possession of personal amounts of marijuana, eliminating the possibility of jail time and imposing only civil fines.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), police in New Hampshire make around 2,900 marijuana possession arrests each year.

Despite years of attempts to decriminalize marijuana possession in New Hampshire, the Granite State remains the only New England state where marijuana possession brings the possibility of jail time.  The New Hampshire House approved decriminalization bills in each of the last five years, only to see those bills die in the Senate.

Voters from two of New Hampshire’s neighbors, Maine to the north and Massachusetts to the south, legalized marijuana possession at the polls in November.

Newly elected Governor Chris Sununu has said he would support a marijuana decriminalization bill if it were passed by the state legislature.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Slowly Advancing

SANTA FE, NM — A proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use has advanced through the first of three committees it needs to clear before advancing to a floor vote.

House Bill 89, the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act, is sponsored by Reps.  Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces) and Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque).

The bill was approved in January by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, and is currently awaiting review by the House Business and Industry Committee.  It would also need to advance through the  House Appropriations and Finance Committee before being considered by the full House for a vote.

If passed, HB 89 would allow adults 21 or older to lawfully possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public, or up to two ounces at home.

Adults would be allowed to possess up to seven grams of concentrates.

The bill would also allow adults to grow six marijuana plants at home, with a per-household limit of twelve plants.  Adults would be allowed to keep up to eight ounces of harvested marijuana on hand.

Retail sales of marijuana would begin in 2019, utilizing much of the states existing medical marijuana system.  Retail marijuana sales would be subject to a 15% statewide sales tax, with local communities authorized to impose an additional 5% sales tax.

“It is either going to happen sooner or it is going to happen later and if it happens sooner we can realize the economic benefits now,” McCamley said at the bill’s introduction last month. “All of these things create long term job growth and help New Mexico out of this downward spiral we have had economically.”

Last year, lawmakers in the New Mexico Senate passed on the opportunity to send a similar legalization proposal to voters.

Polling data released in 2015 found that over 60% of New Mexicans support taxing and regulating the retail sale of marijuana to adults.

The full text of HB 89 can be found here.  New Mexico’s 2017 legislative session starts January 17 and ends in mid-March.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Hearings Start Thursday

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers will start legislative hearings on a proposal to legalize marijuana in Vermont on Thursday.

The Vermont House Committee on Judiciary is slated to hear testimony on House Bill 170, which would legalize limited marijuana possession and personal cultivation for adults 21 or older.  The bill being considered is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican.

If passed, HB 170 would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and up to ten grams of concentrates by adults.

Adults would be allowed to grow up to two mature and seven immature cannabis plants in a private residence.

The proposal would also reduce existing penalties for those who possess greater quantities of marijuana.

The bill does not address commercial production or retail sales of marijuana, however.

Last year, the Vermont Senate voted to approve a bill that would have legalized up to one ounce of marijuana by adults and establish a regulated system of retail marijuana sales.  That bill was defeated in the House by a significant margin, despite being supported by then-Governor Peter Shumlin (D), who had had pushed for the state legislature to legalize marijuana in his final State of the State Address last January.

Under current Vermont law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil violation punishable by a fine of up to $200 for a first offense. Possession of one to two ounces of marijuana and cultivation of up to two marijuana plants are criminal misdemeanors punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail.

Parts of voter-approved initiatives recently passed in Massachusetts and Maine have already taken affect, legalizing marijuana possession by adults in Vermont’s neighbors to the north and south.

The full text of House Bill 170 can be found here.  Vermont’s 2017-2018 Legislative Biennium runs through mid-May 2017.

Vermont residents can click here to contact their elected officials regarding House Bill 170.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana

Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana | TJ Baker

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers in Vermont have filed a bill that would legalize marijuana possession for adults 21 or older. House Bill 170, sponsored by Reps. Maxine Grad (D), Charles Conquest (D), and Thomas Burditt (R). If passed, the bill would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of […]

Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maryland Lawmakers to Consider Legalizing Marijuana

ANNAPOLIS, MD — State lawmakers are rolling out legislation Monday that would regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol in Maryland.

The proposal consists of two bills — a regulation bill and a tax bill — that will each be filed in the Senate and the House.

The regulation bill, sponsored by Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) and Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would make possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis legal for adults 21 years of age and older.

It would remain illegal to consume cannabis in public or drive under the influence. Prior convictions for adults 21 and older possessing or growing amounts of cannabis made lawful by the bill would be expunged.

The bill would also create a structure for licensing and regulating a limited number of cannabis retail stores, product manufacturers, testing facilities, cultivation facilities, and craft cultivators (that would grow smaller amounts of cannabis to sell only to cultivation facilities and product manufacturers).

The Comptroller of Maryland would be responsible for issuing licenses and creating rules, and the Department of Agriculture would be responsible for licensing and regulating the cultivation of industrial hemp. Cities and towns would have the authority to limit the location and number of cannabis establishments within their jurisdictions, as well as ban certain types of businesses.

The tax bill, sponsored by Madaleno in the Senate and Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) in the House, would create a structure for taxing cannabis and allocating the revenue. It would initially enact an excise tax of $30 per ounce, which would generally be paid by cultivators, and a 9% sales tax on retail cannabis sales, which is the same as the sales tax rate on alcohol.

Cannabis tax revenue would be used to cover the cost of administering the program, and then the remaining revenue would be allocated as follows: 50% for the community schools program; 25% for substance abuse treatment and prevention; 15% for workforce development programs; and 10% for combating impaired driving through public education and additional law enforcement training.

The legislation addresses concerns that have been raised about the licensing process for medical cannabis businesses. Specifically, it provides opportunities for small businesses, ensures the licensing process is subject to the Minority Business Enterprise Program, and requires outreach to diverse communities to ensure they are aware of new business opportunities.

It also contains strong provisions aimed at protecting public health and safety, such as mandatory product testing and labeling; restrictions on advertising and marketing; and rules limiting edible products to a single serving of THC and requiring opaque, child-resistant packaging.

Neither of the bills would affect the rights of patients under Maryland’s existing medical cannabis program, and taxes would only be applied to nonmedical cannabis.

Sixty-four percent of likely Maryland voters support making cannabis legal for adults, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll conducted in September 2016.

“This legislation will effectively end the failed policy of cannabis prohibition in Maryland and replace it with a much more sensible system,” said Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., vice-chair of the Senate Budget and Tax Committee and sponsor of the regulation and tax bills. “It establishes a thoughtful regulatory scheme and tax structure based on best practices and lessons learned from other states. Colorado and other states are raising millions of dollars in new revenue each month and creating thousands of good jobs. Maryland is not only missing out on the benefits, but enduring the many problems associated with prohibition.”

“African Americans are far more likely to be the subject of marijuana enforcement than other Marylanders,” said Sen. William C. Smith, primary co-sponsor of the regulation bill in the Senate. “Decriminalization reduces the number of Marylanders who are branded criminals, but it does not change the fact that marijuana laws are not enforced equally, and that people of color are disproportionately punished. Decriminalization also does nothing to stop the public safety issues that arise when a lucrative market is driven underground. It’s time to put marijuana sales behind the counter, and to let adults make their own decisions about using a substance that is safer than alcohol.”

“Tax revenue from cannabis sales will generate much-needed funds for our state. Our tax bill will allocate half of the revenues from cannabis taxes to the community schools program, which benefits high-poverty schools across Maryland. It will also provide funding for treatment services that are needed to address our state’s battle with opioid addiction,” said Del. Mary Washington, sponsor of the tax bill in the House.

“A strong and growing majority of Marylanders support ending cannabis prohibition. Rather than lagging behind our constituents, we need to get behind them and pass this legislation this year. Several states are now effectively regulating and taxing cannabis, and it is time for Maryland to join them,” added Del. Moon, a co-sponsor of the regulation and tax bills.

Maryland  lawmakers approved the medical use of marijuana and decriminalized the personal possession of under ten grams of marijuana in 2014.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Bill to Receive Hearing Wednesday

CONCORD, NH — Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House will hold a hearing on a Republican-backed bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older on Wednesday.

The bill, House Bill 656, is sponsored by Reps. Glen Aldrich, Caleb Dyer, Brandon Phinney, and Nick Zaricki, all Republicans.  The proposal is not related to a similar measure filed in the Senate by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D).

Members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hear testimony regarding the bill on Wednesday, February 2, at 2 pm.

If passed, HB 656 would legalize  the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish for adults 21 or older.  Adults would be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.

Gifting of up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six immature cannabis plants to another adult without compensation would also be authorized.

Retail sales of marijuana would be subject to a 15 percent sales tax.

House Bill 656 would also legalize the cultivation, possession, and use of industrial hemp.

The bill also creates a civil violation for those age 18 through 20 caught possessing marijuana, imposing a $200 fine but no jail time. Currently,  possession of any amount of marijuana in New Hampshire is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $350.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), police in New Hampshire make around 2,900 marijuana possession arrests each year. All of New Hampshire’s New England neighbors have decriminalized marijuana possession, and two bordering states — Maine and Massachusetts — have legalized marijuana possession for adults.  Similar legalization measures are expected to be considered this year in the remaining New England states as well.

New Hampshire could generate an estimated $30 million annually in taxes from legalizing marijuana, which also has strong public support. According to a WMUR/Granite State Poll released earlier this year, 62% of New Hampshire adults support legalizing marijuana.

New Hampshire’s 2017 regular legislative session begins January 4, and runs through the end of June.

New Hampshire residents who wish to contact their representatives in Concord in support of this legislation can do so here.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maryland Marijuana Legalization Bills to be Introudced Monday

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates are expected to introduce a combination of bills Monday that would legalize marijuana for adults.

Two bills are expected to be introduced in each chamber.  One proposal would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol, according to the Washington, DC based Marijuana Policy Project.

The other bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana sold in Maryland.

The bills are being sponsored in the Senate by Senators Richard S. Madaleno, Jr. —  the Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Tax Committee —  and William C. Smith, JR, and in the House by Delegates Mary Washington and David Moon.

The four lawmakers will introduce the bills at a press conference Monday afternoon.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, taxing recreational marijuana sales in Maryland could generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue per year for the state.

According to a January 2016 poll, 53% of Maryland voters support legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol in Maryland. Only 43% were opposed.

Maryland  lawmakers approved the medical use of marijuana and decriminalized the personal possession of under ten grams of marijuana in 2014.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Activists Renew Push to Legalize Marijuana in Vermont

MONTPELIER, VT — A renewed push to legalize marijuana in Vermont will kick off Wednesday at the State House.

Members of the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, including representatives from Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, ACLU-VT, and the Marijuana Policy Project, say Vermont should join other New England states that are removing legal penalties for adult possession and home cultivation of small amounts of marijuana.

Massachusetts and Maine are in the process of implementing voter-approved initiatives to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol.

Under current Vermont law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil violation punishable by a fine of up to $200 for a first offense. Possession of one to two ounces of marijuana and cultivation of up to two marijuana plants are criminal misdemeanors punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail.

In the neighboring state of Massachusetts, it is now legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes. In Maine, possession of up to 2.5 ounces and home cultivation of up to six plants will officially become legal on January 30.

“Massachusetts, Maine, and six other states have made marijuana legal for adult use,” said Matt Simon, New England Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It makes no sense for Vermont to continue punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. Lawmakers should move swiftly to eliminate penalties for adult possession and limited home cultivation. They can then work to implement a reasonably regulated system that will take marijuana sales out of the illicit market.”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.