Maryland is so close to legalizing adult-use recreational cannabis that many Marylanders are holding their breath to see what their state legislature does in the coming months. Yet, until recreational regulations are passed, there remains one legal way to get weed in the Free State: medical dispensaries. In fact, there are so many Maryland dispensaries that you might not know which one is worth a visit.
That’s where this list comes in. Here are absolute best medical dispensaries in Maryland — and the ones that are most likely to cater to recreational customers, too, when the time comes.
Gold Leaf, Annapolis
Maryland’s capital city isn’t necessarily the capital of cannabis in the state, but Annapolis does boast one of the best dispensaries by far. Gold Leaf’s location is stunning with minimalist, modern architecture and an open floor plan dominated by the black and gold color scheme, with statement furniture and living artwork to make the entire store feel high-class. What’s more, the products on display include sophisticated glassware and dispensary merchandise as well as cannabis goodies like edibles, prerolls, oils, tinctures and packaged nugs, all immaculately arranged. Gold Leaf budtenders oversee all aspects of quality control on every product in the store, which helps consumers feel secure in their purchasing decisions.
Baltimore has a much higher percentage of the state’s cannabis dispensaries, likely thanks to a younger, more diverse and more progressive culture — but also because Baltimore is simply a larger city with a larger number of cannabis consumers. Thanks to increased competition, Baltimore claims some of the classiest dispensaries in the state, and the cream of the crop could be CULTA.
In addition to being a medical dispensary, CULTA is also the first and the largest outdoor grow operation in the state of Maryland. Consumers at CULTA know that their private-label cannabis products are fresh and of incredibly high quality. Every bit of bud in the store is cultivated consciously, with a mixture of high-tech systems and low-resource solutions. CULTA could very well have some of the best bud on the East Coast.
ReLeaf is a medical dispensary in the heart of the Mount Vernon neighborhood, a convenient location for a discerning population of cannabis consumers as well as Maryland visitors. Designed to mimic the feeling of an old-world apothecary, the lighting and décor are moody and chic without allowing the store to feel cluttered or unkempt. The budtenders work hard to cultivate a feeling of community within their dispensary; repeat customers are often greeted by name and given customized recommendations for medical conditions. What’s more, ReLeaf offers unique daily discounts and regular events for patrons to learn more about weed products and fellow patients in their area.
Starbuds is a chain dispensary that got its start in Colorado, but that doesn’t make the first Maryland Starbuds location any less special. Across the country, the Starbuds brand is lauded for its effective budtender training, which ensures that dispensary staff is knowledgeable about all aspects of every product on offer — from where and how the cannabis was cultivated to how compounds were extracted to how most consumers feel about the product after use. The dispensary has a rewards program, which can be beneficial for those who live nearby and need medical treatment often. Cancer patients, especially, are treated well at Starbuds, considering their outstanding $1 hash oil deal.
RISE, Joppa, Silver Spring and Bethesda
RISE is rapidly becoming one of the country’s largest and best dispensary chains. With three locations in Maryland as well as locations in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania, RISE is steadily cornering the medical cannabis market — and not without good reason. RISE shops exude professionalism while maintaining an effortless coolness. The dispensaries feel as high-class as jewelry stores, with clean displays showcasing the fine wares available for sale. Like other chain dispensaries, RISE offers a membership program that can make products more affordable for patients who rely on cannabis treatments for good health and wellbeing.
Maryland’s dispensary scene is poised for change as state lawmakers consider finally legalizing recreational, adult-use weed. In the meantime, patients can find the perfect pot shop for them, likely by visiting one of the dispensaries listed above, which are some of the best in the state.