FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dawn Berkowitz, Deputy Executive Director, email@example.com, 410-487-8075
David Torres, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-487-8050
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Receives Unprecedented Response to its 1st Medical Cannabis Patient Survey
Results will help prepare for public health measures ahead of voter decision on legalization.
LINTHICUM, MD. (September 21, 2022) — The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (the “Commission”) today announced it received over 15,000 responses to the 2022 Maryland Medical Cannabis Patient Survey (MMCPS) less than 48 hours after it launched. The Commission released the survey to certified medical cannabis patients Monday afternoon, with an initial goal of receiving 7,500 patient responses by early October. Within two hours of release, over 2,500 patients had responded, and the initial goal was met by Monday evening. After temporarily closing the survey once the target was met, the Commission reopened it and collected an additional 7,500 responses, doubling the sample size, prior to officially closing the survey Tuesday night.
The 2022 MMCPS is part of a broader research effort by the Commission to inform future public health initiatives around cannabis use in the State. The MMCPS is assessing anonymous patient data on a variety of crucial topics such as product preferences and patterns of use, product efficacy and health outcomes, access and barriers to medical cannabis acquisition and consumption, and additional health and safety measures related to cannabis use and storage.
During the 2022 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a measure to place a constitutional amendment on the Maryland General Election ballot stating, “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on/after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?” Additionally, legislators passed multiple companion bills that affect future regulation and research related to cannabis, including an assessment of baseline cannabis use and a study and recommendations on Delta-8 and Delta-10 tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), which are currently unregulated in the State. “If voters choose to legalize the use of cannabis by individuals 21 or older this November, the valuable information collected through the patient survey and these additional studies will be indispensable for planning future program and policy efforts to protect and safeguard consumers and the public” said the Commission’s chair, Tiffany Randolph.
The Commission is working with Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC) to administer and analyze data from the patient survey, which is the first of its kind in Maryland. Dr. Michael Sofis, CPPC’s director of research, claimed the robust response from current medical cannabis patients has far surpassed CPPC’s expectations and response rates from similar surveys. “The rich data collected regarding the behaviors and experiences of Maryland’s patients will help to better understand perceptions and patterns of use and can provide guidance in planning relevant public health protection and safety measures.”
As part of its public health research in advance of the ballot initiative, the Commission has also partnered with the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law to research best practices related to advertising, potency, packaging and labeling; preventing youth use and access; and regulating hemp-derived products containing intoxicating Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC. “The Commission is excited to partner with the University of Maryland, CPPC, and medical cannabis patients to provide insight into cannabis use in Maryland and the potential impact of cannabis legalization on the State,” said Dawn Berkowitz, the Commission’s deputy executive director. “As we navigate the changing landscape, the Commission will utilize this information to help inform policies and regulations to protect the health and safety of Marylanders.” Results of these findings will be submitted to the General Assembly prior to the 2023 Legislative Session.
The Commission oversees all licensing, registration, inspection, and testing protocols impacting Maryland’s medical cannabis program and provides education and guidance to registered patients, caregivers, and providers, as well as licensed growers, processors, dispensaries; testing laboratories; and ancillary cannabis businesses throughout the State. Medical dispensaries began distributing cannabis in 2017, and the program now serves nearly 160,000 patients. The proposed constitutional amendment will be on the General Election Ballot on November 8,
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Learn more at www.mmcc.maryland.gov and follow us on Linkedin at www.linkedin.com/company/maryland-medical-cannabis-commission/.