Growing cannabis in Maryland would be a great option for patients who want budget-friendly, quality medicine. But it remains illegal despite Washington, D.C. medical patients having the privilege less than an hour from our border.
With states like Alaska, Michigan, Washington, and Colorado also offering the right, what stands in the way of legalizing home cultivation in our crabby state?
Here are varying perspectives on the matter and show you how you can be a force of change in our community.
To be for or against legal cannabis cultivation
Cannabis cultivation can feel a long ways away. Other than Prohibition, other barriers include arguments from corporations against home grow. Here’s the list of reasons New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association (NYMCIA) gave Governor Andrew Cuomo in light of New York’s path to full legalization:
- Home grow will make it impossible for the state to eliminate the black market.
- Home grow will make it impossible for law enforcement to distinguish between legal and illegal products, thus frustrating enforcement efforts.
- Home grow will undermine the state’s harm reduction goal of ensuring that cannabis sold in New York State is grown without noxious pesticides or other contaminants.
- Home grow will undermine the state’s public health interest in ensuring that cannabis sold in New York State is tested, packaged, and labeled correctly.
- Home grow will cost the state tax revenue, thus hindering the state’s ability to fund priorities such as drug abuse treatment and community investment.
And Leafly writer David Bienenstock proposed this counter-argument to NYMCIA for home cultivation:
- Provides a check on high prices at dispensaries, giving people an affordable option
- Maintains cannabis plant biodiversity
- Patients can access specific strains that work best for their conditions
- Growing your own is a fun, life-affirming process
- It’s pot, not plutonium
So what does this mean for you? It means there’s a lot more involved with home cultivation than easier access to cannabis. You have to consider the ramifications for future growth and development of the cannabis industry, as well as potential negative effects on Maryland from a public health stance.
We’ll dive into balancing out the good and bad of all parts in a future piece that will also explore how home grow works and doesn’t work in legal states.
Organizations involved with legal cannabis cultivation in Maryland
The Maryland chapter of NORML and novelty cannabis glassware company Cannaration make an active effort to push for home grow. There’s also organization Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ), who recently discussed civil disobedience for home grow rights and are preparing for lobbying in February 2020. They’re partnered with the Maryland Policy Coalition.
And Cannagather DC stands for the right: they provided a platform for discussing Urban Cultivation in June 2019.
Losia (Lisa) Nyankale is Maryland NORML Deputy Director and founder of Cannaration, and she believes the patient voice and action is the way to go. She became a D.C. resident and medical patient for the right to grow, and never looked back.
Paving the path for change, Lisa pushes for patients to get educated about false propaganda, how to states like Nevada reduce illegal cultivation.
And with our local Lobby Day approaching in early 2020–NORML is addressing home grow–Lisa proposes that patients get ready by reading up on:
- False propaganda
- How states like Nevada reduce illegal cultivation
- Home grow as a profit opportunity
How to get involved
Nurture the seeds of conversation by sharing this blog post with your thoughts!
Alaina Dorsey is a freelance cannabis content marketing writer and strategist based in Baltimore, MD. For dispensaries and online cannabis businesses, she writes the chilliest customer-focused content that educates and engages. Quirks available upon request at www.alainadorsey.com.
Featured image for this blog courtesy of Open Range Stock.