The Maryland Cannabis Administration originated as the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission, which was authorized by the General Assembly in October 2013 as an independent unit operating within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Chapter 403, Acts of 2013). The Commission was named in honor of Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn's mother, who died of kidney cancer at age 87. In June 2014, the Commission's charge was expanded (Chapters 240 & 256, Acts of 2014), and it was renamed the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission in May 2015 (Chapter 251, Acts of 2015). The General Assembly, in May 2023, repealed authorization for the Commission by the Cannabis Reform Act of 2023 (Chapter 254 & 255, Acts of 2023). At that time, functions of the Commission transferred to the Maryland Cannabis Administration, an independent unit of State government.

Regulations adopted by the Natalie M. Laprade Medical Cannabis Commission are evaluated by the Administration, which adopts emergency regulations to carry out the licensure requirements of the law. Procedures related to cannabis applications, licenses, and registrations are implemented by the Administration as are inventory management and tracking that does not differentiate between adult–use or medical cannabis, or cannabis products before the point of sale, except for products allowed by the Administration for sale only to patients and caregivers. The Administration also helps the Comptroller of Maryland in the collection of taxes imposed on the sale of adult–use cannabis (Code Tax-General Article, sec. 11–104(k)).

The Administration is required to establish operating requirements for cannabis licensees, or cannabis registrants, including requirements for security, lighting, physical security, video, and alarms; safe and secure delivery, transport, and storage of cannabis. It also sets operating requirements to prevent the sale or diversion of cannabis and cannabis products to persons under the age of 21 years; for packaging and labeling of cannabis and cannabis products, including child–resistant packaging; and for health and safety standards governing the cultivation, manufacture, testing, and dispensing of cannabis or cannabis products.

The Director of the Administration is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent (Code Health-General, secs. 36-101 through 36- 36-201 through

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