State's first medical marijuana dispensary opens in Frederick

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 18:12:01-04

Mike Kline isn't the type to seek the spotlight, but it seems the light found Mike. 

"It's incredibly exciting, but I haven't slept in two nights. Our phone never stops ringing. The voicemail where I was told has an unlimited capacity…doesn't," Kline said. 

He's the chief operating officer of the Wellness Institute of Maryland -- the state's first medical cannabis dispensary. 

"It's designed to help cannabis patients who have severe symptoms and can't be adequately treated with any other traditional medication find some relief," Kline said. 

For security reasons, Kline didn't want ABC 2 to show any exterior camera shots or for us to point out exactly where the dispensary is and there are high levels of security to back it up. 

There are cameras everywhere. Everything inside is accessed by key card only and there's a vault that holds the medicinal drug. 

"Maryland has 9,000 patients waiting for medical cannabis. Whenever the cannabis does become available, there will be at most a handful of dispensaries who are fully licensed and able to dispense," Kline said. 

Access to the actual plant isn't available yet. The center intends on distributing medicinal cannabis through pills, lotions, patches, or vapors. 

A doctor's recommendation will allow patients to pre-order their dosage through the institute's website. 

"It's not a financial pre-order. It's more of an information order. We're meeting with a patient. We're identifying the medical history. We're helping them identify what medical cannabis might be well suited for their needs," Kline said. 

Each patient can get up to four ounces of medical cannabis a month. 

It's the start to what's been a long journey for Kline and his partners, and he says he's ready to lead the pack. 

"…it's incredibly exciting to have reached the point that we had hoped we would get to for the past couple of years," he said. 

Kline says the first crop of medicinal marijuana plants to be available between Labor Day and Halloween. 

Patients must have certification from the state to use the drug.