Medical cannabis is coming to St. Mary's

medical cannabisLeonardtown, MD - Don’t look now, but medical marijuana is coming to Southern Maryland. The first medical cannabis dispensary in St. Mary’s County is expected to open in early September in Mechanicsville.

Representatives from Southern Maryland Relief LLC in Mechanicsville met with roughly two dozen citizens in the St. Mary’s County Library in Leonardtown Friday, June 30 to explain the particulars about the budding industry.

Candice Junkin, “a professional woman” with children and grandchildren, has been advocating for the use of medicinal marijuana for about 15 years.

“Cannabis is allowing me to live with my pain and to live my life,” she said.

Junkin said she has heard for years that cannabis is “a gateway drug” but said recent studies have shown that is not the case.

“The black market is the gateway,” she stressed.

Junkin recounted how her father, who has Parkinsons, has begun weaning off opioids to medicinal marijuana and she said the results have been "astounding. I have my father back," she said.

Touting that the state of Maryland is likely to have the “most regulated industry in the country,” Junkin emphasized that their dispensary will not be a place for people wanting to get high to get their weed.

“There will be very strict guidelines and regulations,” she said. “Nobody can get into our facility without showing their ID. We want to provide our product in comfort, safety and security,” Junkin added.

She directed those seeking help with pain management or chronic disease to go to the state Medical marijuana website at to register or for information. They are then directed to the Health Center in White Plains where they can obtain a card for $175 (MedStar in St. Mary’s has refused to jump on the medical cannabis bandwagon and therefore patients are being directed to Charles County).

“You can’t just come in and ask for a card,” Junkin explained. “You have to have an ailment. You have to be a patient or caretaker to get in the door.”

In addition to tinctures and bud, they will also offer topicals and other products.

Charlie Mattingly noted that Maryland does not have a residency clause, but those outside of the state are required to be treated at a Maryland facility to receive the products.

Maryland approved 15 growers and 15 processors in the state last year.

Contact Joseph Norris at

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