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Law Maryland MMJ


Well-Known Member
Starting a thread on my home state of Maryland which passed MMJ law almost 4 years ago and still doesn't have a patient registry open much less a dispensary. Below are some voluminous posts I have written previously on the subject.

On another board, Maryland MMJ did not attract any comment or attention and it may not here either. But I will feel better for shining the light on our situation here in the "Free State" :puke:

Most current situation is that preliminary cultivation, processing, and dispensary licenses have been issued. Final license is depending upon ongoing background checks and verification of financials.

The Physician Registry has been open for almost a year now. Patient registry is STILL not open though if they did, Washington DC would offer me reciprocity as that law went into effect in Feb 2017.

The Maryland Black Caucus is still demanding that the program be completely halted and restarted to ensure that their special interest group gets what they believe to be their piece of the pork.

Our politicians are as bad, or perhaps worse, than most. They profess a very liberal philosophy here in Maryland but apparently that liberalism has more to do with freedom for them to do what they want do with our money than freedom for the citizens to do what we want with our individual lives.:rant:

Below are a few past posts (Mods, please forgive the serial posts but I'm afraid to exceed the character count and do want to bring my prior writings over to this forum....cool?)
Yes, I live in Maryland, "The Free State", where the only thing that seems truly free is our state and county government's increasing demand for tax dollars; very tightly coupled with incredible, mind numbing government incompetence.

To very quickly recap, Maryland first passed MMJ in 2013 but the law required that the program be completely managed and administered by major in-state academic organizations (read the U of MD and Johns Hopkins). However, apparently the resident geniuses in Annapolis never bothered to ask any of these academic organizations if they wanted to participate. This seems clear as NO qualified organizations signed on to participate in the program. This is for the easily foreseen and easily understood reasons that these universities/medical schools/hospital systems all are involved with Federal money via grants etc and all of them use the banking system which also brings in the Feds and interstate commerce....you would have thought that law makers may have been able to anticipate this, but sadly no.

In 2014, Maryland amended the law significantly to allow commercial growers, processors, and dispensaries; determined by a merit only proposal evaluation with all personal information to include owner identify, race, and sex redacted from the proposals prior to going to the eval boards. Since then, Maryland has progressed at a glacial pace but in the last six months has issued preliminary licenses to these three categories of companies. Prelim licenses are followed up by in-depth financial and criminal background investigations resulting in a final license, this process is going on now.

Dispensaries are anticipated to be open and stocked somewhere late in the year 2017 (and yes, many eligible patients have already passed away while waiting for this program).

THEN comes Del Cheryl Mills (D) from Baltimore who is the leader of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus. To Ms. Mills, the merit only evaluation of proposals was flawed and must be started over again from scratch because HER special interest group (black Americans) did not receive any special consideration, that awards are not sufficiently diverse, and she believes that there should be a race based set aside for African Americans (apparently any Asians, Latinos, Jews or other minorities that live in Ms. Mills' district don't count with her). This is despite the fact that there is no history of discrimination in the MMJ industry, for the simple reason that we don't have an MMJ industry in Maryland...yet.

Nice summary article from this last Dec: http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/12/27/maryland-medical-marijuana-finally-reality/70061/

NOW (like in the last week), the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has come out with preliminary statistics of the racial/minority make-up of the license winners which, by my reading, completely undermines Ms. Mills' assertions and demands. See for yourself:

Preliminary Industry Ownership Demographics Industry Totals
35% Racial and Ethnic Diversity Participation
57% Minority Participation Including Females

Preliminary Industry Employee Demographics Industry Totals
58% Racial and Ethnic Diversity Participation
75% Minority Participation Including Females

Details can be found here to include detailed break downs of the above totals:


I would like to be very, very clear. I am 100% fully and personally committed to equal opportunity for every American. I believe, based on my reading and research, that equal opportunity to all was provided by Maryland's MMJ licensing process.

I hope this is helpful to anyone in Maryland awaiting this long delayed program.
Companies Bumped as Finalists for Pot Licenses Fight for Answers


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Two Maryland companies say the state is wrongly refusing to explain why they were abruptly bumped off a list of 15 finalists to be licensed to grow medical marijuana in the state.

Green Thumb Industries and Maryland Cultivation and Processing have asked a Baltimore judge to decide whether the state is abusing the “deliberative process privilege,” which allows internal deliberations among members of a state commission to be kept secret.

Assistant Attorney General Heather Nelson cited that rule in more than 80 objections to attorneys’ questions during the January deposition of Deborah Miran – the only person on a Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission subcommittee who voted against replacing the two companies with others ranked lower.

Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman with the attorney general’s office, said the office doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation. “The appropriate forum to litigate this is in the courtroom, not in the press,” she said.

Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, said the case reinforces the government watchdog group’s concerns about abuse of such exemptions.

“We are hopeful that the judge will take a close look at the overuse of privilege here and hopefully open the door to more transparency in the case,” Bevan-Dangel said.

Last summer, Maryland selected 15 finalists from 145 applicants to grow and process medical marijuana, but none has received final approval. Maryland is one of 28 states that allow medical marijuana. The initiative has attracted intense interest in a market that stands to be lucrative because the law allows wide patient access. (and the sad saga continues)
2017 brings new opportunity for progress

The most recent 2016 poll shows that 61% of Marylanders — and 64% of likely voters — want the legislature to end prohibition by taxing and regulating marijuana for adult use. This is a dramatic increase over just two years before, when 54% of Marylanders supported legalization. MPP, along with our allies in the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition, is working hard to pass a bill to do just that. The bill has also been changed to address equity and efficiency concerns that arose during implementation of the medical program in Maryland, allow more small businesses to participate, and ensure that people are not unfairly excluded from participation in the industry.

To find out when the bill will be introduced and get involved in helping pass this important reform, please sign up for alerts from the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition, and consider donating to or endorsing the coalition. You can also email your lawmakers in support of ending marijuana prohibition.

Medical marijuana program implementation slow and controversial

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) has announced which businesses received preliminary licenses to grow, process, and dispense medical marijuana. Unfortunately, the MMCC did not “actively seek to achieve ethnic [and] racial diversity” as required by law. As a result, the legislative Black Caucus has announced plans to introduce emergency legislation in order to ensure greater diversity. None of the growers are led by African Americans, who make up around a third of the state’s population and a disproportionate share of those who have been criminalized for marijuana possession. A compromise solution would increase the arbitrary cap of 15 licenses, allowing more diverse businesses to enter the new industry, while ensuring that existing businesses can move forward to get medicine to suffering patients as quickly as possible.

Dispensaries are expected to finally begin opening in mid-to-late 2017, meaning that Maryland will have one of the slowest rollouts of any comparable state. The impact on patients is exacerbated by the fact that Maryland does not allow patients to grow their own medicine.

See above post about actual diversity figures in licensing in Maryland vice the "we want ours set aside" approach of Del Cheryl Mills and the Maryland Black Legislative Caucus.
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Maryland makes a hash of its medical marijuana program

By Editorial Board March 4 at 7:13 PM
MARYLAND’S ROLLOUT of its medical marijuana program has been called “ one of the slowest” of the 28 states that allow it. Approved about three years ago, the program is still months away from being operational and that might be optimistic. The length of time, one would hope, means there was careful planning and follow-through — but sadly, that has not been the case. Instead, the process has been tainted by self-dealing and complaints of racial bias, secrecy and political interference.

Getting most of the attention was Friday’s official censure for a state lawmaker who was less than forthright about his dual roles in the state’s push for medical marijuana. The House of Delegates reprimanded Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) after the ethics committee found he had improperly advocated changes to medical marijuana without publicly disclosing his role as a paid consultant to a prospective cannabis dispensary. Critics saw the punishment as a “slap on the wrist,” but at least lawmakers took some action in response to unacceptable behavior.

Equal concern should also be directed at the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and how it selected the businesses to receive the limited number of lucrative licenses to grow and process cannabis. Recent revelations in a lawsuit brought by two companies that were abruptly bumped from the list of 15 finalists raise questions about whether political connections may have played a role.

Maryland Cultivation and Processing and Green Thumb Industries had been ranked No. 8 and No. 12, respectively, by a panel of outside experts advising the selection subcommittee. The subcommittee voted unanimously on July 27 to approve them, but two days later the subcommittee’s chairman, Cheverly Police Chief Harry Robshaw, persuaded three other members to reverse their votes and instead approve two lower-ranked firms. One of them proposed to do business in Prince George’s County and has political ties that include Maryland Fraternal Order of Police head Vince Canales and former state secretary of health Nelson Sabatini as well as representation by high-profile Annapolis lobbyist Gerard Evans. The company has said the team was assembled based on experience and expertise and it never tried to influence the commission. Commission officials have said the change was needed to enhance geographic diversity, something required by the statute legalizing medical marijuana.

Why then were applicants not told that geography would be determinant? And how did this only emerge as a concern 48 hours after the initial vote? Mr. Robshaw’s explanation that the subcommittee initially didn’t have complete information on the counties in which the applicants would operate was contradicted in a sworn deposition by former commissioner Deborah Miran, the lone holdout in making the swap, who said the subcommittee had all the geographic information before the unanimous vote.

A spokeswoman for the commission told us that allegations of political favoritism are “false, unsubstantiated, and based on rumor and conjecture.” It is clear that more needs to be known about these events, so it is troubling that the state attorney general’s office has blocked the release of information — including the dissent of Ms. Miran, who curiously was subsequently denied reappointment to the commission. We hope the judge hearing this case will make clear the need for transparency in facts and actions taken by public regulatory bodies.

I'm not a religious person at all......but I'm hoping I'm wrong
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The DC bill providing reciprocity to other states if you have a valid MMJ cardpassed the city council and went to the Mayor who Isigned it.

The DC legislative history and the amendment is now in effect as of 18 Feb 2017. See here:


In any case, with Maryland still not having a patient registry open (and may I live long enough to see it), even if passed I couldn't go to DC and purchase as I can't get a card cause.....THERE AIN'T NO FUCKING CARDS BEING ISSUE YET AFTER ALMOST FOUR FUCKING YEARS! :bang::rant::goon::rant::bang:

...but if you are from CO, CA, WA AK, etc, etc, etc...then you should be able to go into a DC dispensary and purchase.

Gosh, I feel much better now. LOL
Pot laws under scrutiny in Maryland General Assembly

By Fenit Nirappil March 5 at 1:44 PM
Legalization of recreational marijuana is getting a full airing in the Maryland legislature this week, even as the main proponents of allowing adults to legally smoke pot acknowledge there’s little chance of passage this year.

Lawmakers and advocates pushing to authorize sales of the drug for general use believe that a robust debate this year will put them in a good position for next year’s legislative session, when they are planning an all-out effort to get the Democratic-majority General Assembly to either legalize the drug or approve putting the issue to voters as a ballot question.

The legislature is also wrestling with several bills relating to Maryland’s sputtering medical marijuana program, which has become embroiled in controversies over whom state regulators chose and rejected to grow and sell the drug.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission last year awarded 15 preliminary licenses to grow, and 15 to process, medical marijuana, as well as 102 approvals to companies vying to sell the product. Businesses are on track to start selling medical cannabis by late summer, pending final inspections.

But the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, angered that no preapproved marijuana growing company is led by African Americans, is leading a charge to dissolve the cannabis commission and restart the process to add more minority-owned companies.

“On a nation that was built on the backs of black folks, I just don’t see how we can, as a progressive state, stand here and tolerate the current conditions,” state Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), one of the sponsors of the Black Caucus legislation, said Thursday at a Senate hearing.

Cannabis regulators said that when they awarded the licenses, they wanted to follow a provision in the 2014 medical marijuana legalization law calling for racially and ethnically diverse pot growers. But, they said, they were hamstrung by a letter from the attorney general’s office suggesting that racial preferences would be unconstitutional absent a study showing disparities in the industry to justify the move.

The regulators also cited the results of a survey of their preapproved marijuana companies showing there are minority investors and employees.

“Has the commission engaged in some nefarious racist misconduct in the outcome of the process? I don’t think we have,” said Commissioner Eric Sterling.

At hearings last week, lawmakers grilled members of the commission on why they did not try harder to find alternative ways to take racial diversity into account.

“We are in this awful dilemma where you didn’t follow the law, and we have people who need relief,” state Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) told Sterling.

Even the lawmaker who requested the legal opinion on racial preferences in medical marijuana from the attorney general’s office — Del. Christopher R. West (R-Baltimore County) — demanded to know why regulators had not returned to lawmakers earlier to sort out the confusion.

[A light at the end of the tunnel for Maryland medical marijuana program]

“The fact is we didn’t, so what’s the next question?” snapped Commissioner Dario J. Broccolino, the state’s attorney for Howard County, prompting gasps from the audience.

Black Caucus leaders say they are negotiating changes to their diversity bills after the hearings. The legislation is set to come up for a vote in the coming weeks.

Other proposed bills would expand the number of approved medical marijuana growers, while another would grant licenses to two prospective growers suing the cannabis commission because they were passed over in favor of lower-scoring applications in the name of geographic diversity.

The companies already slotted to grow and process medical marijuana in the state are fighting such efforts to expand the market. They formed a group called the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association, hired a lobbying firm and told lawmakers that they secured investments and drafted business plans based on the idea that they would have the early foothold in the industry.

“We as a group here all received A’s on the test,” said Jake Van Wingerden, president of Cecil County’s SunMed Growers and a member of the new trade group. “There are a lot of people who didn’t receive an A who are complaining about the administration of the test and maybe the administration that hired the professors.”

Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), who chairs the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee that must approve the medical marijuana bills, expressed concern that authorizing additional marijuana businesses would prompt more lawsuits from companies that, as a result of the change, would face increased competition. He repeatedly said his top priority was patient access.

“I want to see patients have this medication yesterday, not in a year, not in three years,” Zirkin said. “They’ve waited long enough.”

Several parents of children with medical disorders and veterans with amputated limbs also pleaded with lawmakers to not further delay the program. They included Carey Tilghman of Boonsboro, whose 6-year-old daughter had a stroke and 1½-year-old has intractable epilepsy.

“I’m not trying to get my kid high as a kite. I’m trying to relieve her symptoms. Don’t delay. I can’t wait anymore,” Tilghman told lawmakers as she held her sleeping toddler.

“We are not going to do anything to delay any part of this program; that I can assure you,” Zirkin told her.

While cannabis commissioners have not objected to lawmakers expanding the number of licenses, they are fighting bills that would restart the licensing process or dissolve and revise their agency.

“We’re on the 10-yard line, first and goal, and the sideline is telling us to punt the ball and start all over. That’s crazy,” Broccolino said.

While the fights over the medical marijuana program continue, committees in the House will consider bills to legalize recreational marijuana, while a Senate panel is examining a proposal to tax it like alcohol.

Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), one of the sponsors of the legislation, says he does not expect his bills to pass this session because of uncertainty over how federal marijuana policy may change under President Trump (R).

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last month that states should expect “greater enforcement” of marijuana laws. The Justice Department has so far not interfered with legal recreational sales permitted in several states, but that may change under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Madaleno and other lawmakers behind the legalization push say they want to continue debating how marijuana sales would work in Maryland in preparation for future legislative sessions.

Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery) is offering an alternative measure to refer the matter to voters, as lawmakers did with same-sex marriage and casinos.

Some have speculated that adding marijuana legalization to the 2018 ballot could help turn out young and other Democratic-leaning voters when popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is up for reelection.

"On a nation that was built on the backs of black folks" Wow, what a stunning lack of historical perspective. Yes, this nation was built on the backs of black folks, Irish, German, Scandinavian, Latin and South Americans, Jews, Asians and every-fucking-body else on this planet. This is just an excuse to demand a race based set aside, nothing more. I really don't care...if that will make the MBLC go away and eliminate at least this risk to the program, just do it. The key is that its almost four yeas (I believe it will be four in May) and they STILL don't have a patient registry opened.
Bills would increase diversity in medical marijuana business

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — After Carey Tilghman’s 6-year-old daughter, Paisley, suffered from a stroke, doctors drafted a plan to use a round of Botox injections and muscle relaxers to treat her condition.

Searching for an alternative for her daughter, Tilghman found that a transdermal patch filled with cannabis, which has been linked to shielding the brain from stroke damage, could possibly be helpful to her daughter, but she hasn’t been able access the drug in Maryland’s stalled medical cannabis industry.

Maryland has had one of the slowest rollouts of medical marijuana in the country.

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, which grants the licenses to growers, processors and dispensers, has been hampered by legal battles and pending legislation in the Maryland General Assembly since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2014.

This legislative session, state lawmakers are considering a spate of bills outlining different solutions intended to address a lack of diversity in licenses, and two lawsuits that have delayed the rollout of Maryland’s nascent medical cannabis industry.

The commission expects medical cannabis to be available to patients this summer, according to Vanessa Lyon, a spokeswoman for the group. Patient registry for the drug begins this month, but concerned residents are worried that bills may push back the rollout date even further.

“We can’t delay access,” Tilghman said. “(Paisley) deserves to have a transdermal patch and play like a kindergartener can play. They want her on muscle relaxers; they want her to have surgery. How do you be a kindergartner on muscle relaxers?”

“You can’t,” she added, choking up.

The commission was tasked with ensuring racial and geographical diversity in their selection process, and on Dec. 9 it announced pre-approvals for 102 businesses to sell medical cannabis, which broke down into 15 growers, 15 processors, and 72 dispensaries.

However, preference for minority business owners may violate the Constitution, said Cheryl A. Brown Whitfield, principal counsel of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

The state would need to conduct a study to evaluate whether discrimination does exist in the medical cannabis industry before it could take race-conscious measures in awarding licenses, said Zenita Hurley, the attorney general’s director of legislative affairs and civil rights. This study could take up to two years.

The commission used Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute to rank the company applicants. RESI used a double-blind system that did not take into account the race of owners, which resulted in the commission failing to award licenses that ensure adequate minority representation, said Delegate Cheryl Glenn, D-Baltimore.

While the commission has listed the rankings of each company, it has not released the scores and the criteria for which they were ranked, said Darrell Carrington, policy director for the medical cannabis division of Greenwill Consulting, a government relations firm.

“We’re all flying blind right now because the commission refuses to release the scores,” Carrington said. “The rankings are meaningless if we don’t have the scores. How do we know how to move forward properly and know if we’re really making corrections to increase diversity and the like, if we don’t know the difference between (the companies) was 5, 10, or 30 (points).”

Maryland includes a black or African-American population of 30.5 percent, a white population of 59.6 percent, and 9.9 percent who identify as another minority, according to data collected by the U.S. Census as of 2015.

The majority of the companies selected for pre-approvals for growing and processing are led by white owners.

Of the 11 companies with pre-approved growing licenses that reported demographic data to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, about 85 percent of the owners are white, about 8 percent are black, and about 7 percent identify as another racial minority. The nine pre-approved processing companies that reported data showed similar numbers, with 73 percent white ownership, about 15 percent black ownership, and about 12 percent other minority ownership.

The companies selected have about 76 percent male ownership and 24 percent female ownership.

Moreover, after complaints surfaced that the commission didn’t fairly include representation in areas of southeastern Maryland, the commission revised their original unanimous decision on the 15 companies slated to receive growing licenses by bumping two higher-scoring applicants and replacing them with two lower-scoring applicants in the underrepresented areas.

GTI, one of the companies originally awarded a coveted pre-approval license, had already picked out a site in Washington County and began developing a plan to produce medical cannabis when they were replaced, said Delegate Brett Wilson, R-Washington. The company has since joined the other business bumped from the list, Maryland Cultivation and Processing LLC, in suing the commission.

The commission has been operating without oversight or transparency, Glenn said. “They can’t answer why they made the decisions they made.”

To address the lack of ownership diversity, the Legislative Black Caucus, which Glenn heads, has proposed two emergency bills that would overhaul the 15-member commission and reinstate it with members who reflect the racial and geographical diversity of the state.

Sarah Hoyt, director of government affairs for the commission, wrote in testimony that this emergency legislation would “substantially delay the availability of medical cannabis to qualifying patients” by as much as two years.

But Glenn said her legislation would not slow the arrival of the medical cannabis industry.

“The commission operated in an arbitrary, opaque and misleading fashion,” said Pete Kadens, CEO and director of GTI, adding that overhauling the “inefficient” commission would actually speed the rollout of the long-awaited industry.

Kadens said he supported the 15 companies who have been pre-approved to start operating immediately.

“Even though we were displaced for the purpose of geographic diversity, even though we scored higher on merit than five of the companies that now have pre-approvals for the state, even though we feel we were wronged, we do not want the patients of the state to be further distressed,” Kadens said.

One of Glenn’s bills would issue five to seven more licenses for both growers and processors. The bill would also give heavier consideration to businesses with majority black ownership.

The second bill would disband the current commission to create a nine-member Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Licensing Unit. This new group would award new grower licenses in future years and would have a fund to provide minority- and women-owned medical cannabis businesses with loans.

Wilson has proposed a separate bill that would increase the number of growers from 15 to 17 to reinstate the two geographically bumped companies’ on the list. This could fix what he called a “fairness issue,” adding that it will likely immediately stop any pending litigation, he said.

Wilson said he doesn’t oppose the other bills and that it’s possible a number of the five bills may merge into “one bill that accomplishes everything.”

“We’re not in conflict with other bills,” Wilson said. “We don’t stand against the other proposals in any way.”

Delegate David Vogt, R-Carroll and Frederick, has also proposed a bill that attempts to squash the pending lawsuits, while also increasing minority and women ownership. His solution would accept the commission’s next 10 ranked applicants, which have been selected as alternates should any of the 15 growing businesses that have been pre-approved fall through.

This bill wouldn’t impact how the commission measures any of the businesses that have been tentatively approved, but it would impact any new ones that haven’t been measured by requiring the commission to give extra weight to minority- and women-owned businesses.

Vogt’s bill also proposes to distribute grant money to the businesses’ local communities. The money would be used for infrastructure improvements, increased security and community development. He added that the amount, $250,000 for each area, is a “nominal amount” and that “ultimately, (the state is) going to get that impact money back — 10, 20 times over — with the tax revenue.”

Vogt, like Wilson, noted that he thinks it’s likely to create one bill that combined components from each to address the problems in the long-awaited industry.

However, Glenn said she only supports the bills she is sponsoring. (cont)

I generally object to any sort of set aside and preferential treatment based on what demographic or special interest group you belong to.
With that said, I don't give a flying fuck what they do as long as they do not delay the process that is currently in place.
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Maryland Admits Medical Marijuana Scene Isn’t Black Enough

Thirty percent of Maryland residents are black people. Exactly zero black people, from Maryland or from anywhere else, were selected last year to receive one of the state’s 15 licenses to grow medical marijuana, despite a law on the books requiring “racial diversity” to be weighed.

And neither are any of the 102 businesses pre-approved to sell marijuana—out of 811 applicants—run by black people.

Sensitive to this—and to marijuana’s pervasive equality problem, in which very few of the businesses and entrepreneurs taking advantage of the billion-dollar freedom frenzy are the people who suffered the most during the drug war—Maryland elected officials are issuing more licenses, in the hope that the state’s cannabis industry can be a little less homogeneous, as the Baltimore Sun reports.

In a deal announced last week that is guaranteed to not satisfy everybody, including the black leaders pushing for diversity, leaders of the state Senate and House will grant five more licenses following the issuance of a “racial diversity study.”

They’ll be issued pursuant to a “new licensing system that considers minority ownership is enacted,” the newspaper reported.

In the meantime, the lily-white firms cleared to start growing cannabis will start without them.

Medical marijuana patients in Maryland have been waiting since 2013 for access to cannabis. State officials say the first legal medical marijuana sale could happen as soon as this summer—though “lawsuits” and now discord over how the licenses to grow marijuana were awarded may delay things further.

This includes the “outrage” from the state’s Legislative Black Caucus, who were floored when none of the 15 marijuana-grow licenses went to a black-owned company.

“We will not be accepting crumbs,” said state delegate Cheryl Glenn, the caucus chair, at an event last fall.

Some of those leaders, including Baltimore’s Glenn, who was one of the architects of the medical marijuana program, want more delay—in order for other companies, including, possibly, black-owned ones, to win permits and start preparing for business. Glenn and other diversity-minded elected officials have gone as far as to suggest blowing everything up—dismantling the state medical marijuana commission that awarded the licenses—and starting over.

Coincidentally, other politicians are now saying that the time is now to start issuing weeds to patients—without (more) delay.

“We’ve got to stop messing around and get something done,” said Minority Leader J.B. Jennings, according to the Sun. “Because there are sick people who need this.”

They’re not wrong. Patients have been waiting a long time and have been forced to go to the underground, illegal market in the meantime.

At the same time, what’s a few more months after waiting years if it ensures Maryland doesn’t fall into the same lack-of-diversity trap seen in other states?

In some places, including Oakland, California, local leaders have taken drastic action in order to see that some of the cannabis businesses are minority-owned.

In Maryland, as everywhere else, black people were disproportionately arrested far more often than white people for using marijuana. Keeping black people out of the marijuana industry would be a final straw too callous and too obvious even for career racists.

I find this to be a very misleading article and that the author seemed to swallow the Maryland Black Legislative Caucuses reasoning and rationale without any further investigation. Specifically, below is a link to the demographics published about ownership and employees of teams granted licenses to date.
And in detail here:
http://mmcc.maryland.gov/pages/Preliminary Industry Demographic Data.docx (1).pdf

What this is, in reality, is payment of additional licenses to black dominated teams as ransom to the MBLC. THAT is what is going on, not that Maryland has really concluded that they ran a racist proposal evaluation.

I'm actually fine with this. I find it rather contemptible overall on principle, but this is real politics at its best: better to pay off Cheryl Glenn and her group than delay this program any further. At least this lets the existing license holders proceed.

Additionally, living in the Washington, DC area, I do know some extremely successful and wealthy black people who have expressed the opinion to me that many successful black business people have no interest in entering MJ markets as they have fought for so very long to separate themselves from any associations of them as black people with any sort of drug trade because of the crack and smack scourges that almost destroyed this city and many of its minority dominated neighborhoods. Clearly this is not universal, but I have been given the impression that its a fairly wide spread attitude with some black American circles in my area.

So, we will have racial set asides in order to compensate for past discrimination in an industry that has not previously existed. I would not be surprised to see non-black teams that did not win then sue the state over granting additional priviledged licenses to black owners based on a past history of racial discrimination that can't possibly exist. Well, that's just life in America in the new millennium. Cheers
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Today I felt like spitting into the wind and queried the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission about their schedule target of opening the patient registry in the first quarter of 2017 (which ends in two day, yeah?). So, here we are on 29 March and not a thing on the website about the patient registry, so with my generally lousy attitude I pinged them on this and actually got a reply!!!

Our patient registry will open on March 31, 2017. Please go to our website on March 31st for further instructions.

Now THIS is a miracle!!
Today I felt like spitting into the wind and queried the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission about their schedule target of opening the patient registry in the first quarter of 2017 (which ends in two day, yeah?). So, here we are on 29 March and not a thing on the website about the patient registry, so with my generally lousy attitude I pinged them on this and actually got a reply!!!

Our patient registry will open on March 31, 2017. Please go to our website on March 31st for further instructions.

Now THIS is a miracle!!
Holy shit! Does this mean you can be officially medical and legal soon? Great news brother!
Well, if they open the registry by COB tomorrow, then I'm already lined up with a Dr but will need to go back and pay mo' $$ to get a card.

Dispensaries will not be opened yet as cultivators are just getting started, I understand.

But on 17 Feb, DC's reciprocity law went into effect. They don't have a big medical dispensary system in DC cause residents can legally grow and are they ever. But there are some dispensaries and if armed with a card, I'm going shopping! :aaaaa:

But I still don't trust my state Government to not snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Thanks mate!
Lmao... you are going to have so much fun. It's like being a kid in a candy store after you just got your allowance. :biggrin:

Too true, Mom. You should have seen me the one time I was in a Denver dispensary....reminded me of that old movie, Babes in Toyland! hahaha

Ok, more Maryland news

Md. lawmakers push for medical-marijuana license diversity

ANNAPOLIS — The president of the Maryland Senate is sponsoring a bill to increase diversity in medical-marijuana grower licenses after a spate of other legislation addressing the issue failed to gain traction in the Maryland General Assembly.

The bill, sponsored by Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr., D-Prince George’s, Charles and Calvert, would grant up to five more growing licenses and increase the likelihood they would go to minority-owned businesses.

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission would partner with historically black colleges and universities and conduct outreach targeted toward minorities and women, under Miller’s bill.

Maryland has had one of slowest rollouts of medical marijuana in the nation.

The commission, which grants licenses to growers, processors and dispensaries, has been hampered by legal battles and subsequent legislation since Maryland legalized medical cannabis in 2014.

To squash pending lawsuits, the five new licenses would include two businesses that are currently suing the commission. (cont, political commentary by myself withheld in deference to comity and the rules of the board, but what a fuck up...sigh)

Maryland Patient Registry Schedule is Now Established

Well, I guess if you are in the Government, 10 April is somehow in the first quarter of 2017, nonetheless, major progress is at hand.

From the MMCC website:

MMCC Patient Caregiver Registry Implementation Schedule


Pre-approved Growers, Processors and Dispensaries are still constructing their businesses, and depending on the date these operations commence, the Commission expects that medical cannabis will be available to qualifying patients by the end of summer 2017. The Commission will make a public announcement once medical cannabis is available to the public, and will list the dispensary locations on the website.

This phased early rollout will allow patients time to establish a bonafide doctor-patient relationship months before any medicine is available.



  • Monday, April 10-16 9:00 AM: REGISTRY GOES “LIVE”
  • Monday, April 17-24 9:00 AM:
  • Monday, April 24: OPEN ENROLLMENT

Need Assistance Registering?

PATIENT REGISTRY FAIRS: MMCC will have staff available to assist patients with registration around the state from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at each location on the following dates: (ONCE REGISTRATION OPENS, PLEASE VISIT THE NEW PATIENT SECTION REGARDING NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS YOU WILL NEED TO BRING WITH YOU)

  • May 1 - Eastern Shore Hospital Center (English Hall)'
5262 Woods Road, Cambridge, Maryland 21613
  • May 2 - Kaplan University, Administration Building Room 106
8618 Crestwood Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland 21742​

  • May 3 - Charles County Government Building, Accounting Conference Room
200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, Maryland 20646

  • May 4 - Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
4201 Patterson Avenue, Rooms 105 & 106, Baltimore, Maryland 21215​

Montgomery and Prince Georges County dates and locations will be announced soon.
Should this work out...

I know you're obviously no stranger to cannabis but there might be at least one member on the forum who could offer specific recommendations on local dispensary menu items that he found helpful for pain.
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House OKs Maryland Bill to Boost Minority Cannabis Businesses

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland would allow five more licenses each to grow and process medical cannabis in the state under a measure approved Tuesday by the House of Delegates.

The bill, which was passed on a 90-45 vote, is aimed at boosting minority-owned business participation in the state’s developing industry after a disparity study. The vote sends the measure to the Senate, which is considering a separate bill.

Del. Cheryl Glenn, the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and House bill’s sponsor, has been critical of a state commission’s decision last year to name 15 finalists each to grow and process cannabis that lack minority ownership, even though the state’s law notes racial diversity should be considered.

“Passing this bill will show the country that this is not an issue that we’re going lock African Americans and other minorities from participating in this business venture,” Glenn said before the House vote. “Less than 1 percent of the licenses held in the entire country are held by African Americans and other minorities. I’m very proud at the state of Maryland that we are passing this legislation. Nothing is perfect, but this is really moving us along the path of having a fair system in the state of Maryland.”

A state commission has named 15 finalists to be licensed to be growers and 15 finalists to processors — the most allowed under the current law. No final decisions on licenses have been made yet. The commission also has named finalists for 102 marijuana dispensaries. Some companies that were not named as finalists are suing the state over the licensing process.

The Senate bill would also add to the number of licenses allowed under the law. It differs from the House bill by allowing two companies that were bumped out of the top 15 selected to grow cannabis to be licensed. Those two companies are suing the state.

Maryland first decided to allow medical marijuana in 2013, but only academic centers were permitted to grow and dispense the drug. The effort stalled, however, because it required academic medical centers to run the programs, and none stepped forward. The law was later revised, but further delays have resulted from intense interest in a market that stands to be lucrative, largely due to the fact that the law will allow wide patient access.

Well, although I despise Cheryl Glenn's successful blackmailing of the Maryland MMJ program to benefit her special interest group, it sure beats further delays so I would rather see some degree of race based licensing than having the program tied up in court for years.

By the by, Ms. Glenn states that “Less than 1 percent of the licenses held in the entire country are held by African Americans and other minorities." My thoughts are; 1) what the hell does other states have to do with Maryland's MMJ law and; 2) the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's release of demographic information on the original set of licensees is VERY different and contradicts Ms. Glenn, i.e.

Preliminary Industry Ownership Demographics
35% Racial and Ethnic Diversity Participation
57% Minority Participation Including Females
Preliminary Industry Employee Demographics
58% Racial and Ethnic Diversity Participation
75% Minority Participation Including Females

In other news, as mentioned above, the Patient Registry is opening next week and I contacted my MMJ Doc and this was her reply:

"Once you are registered via the portal and are issued a registration number I can do your certification online. "​
Whoot, whoot!! We (me, really LOL) are in the home stretch to being legal!!:aaaaa::BHO::dogpile::dancing:
Inline text below in yellow are my editorial comments....well, somewhat snide editorial comments but nonetheless. LOL

Final days of Md. legislative session include battle over marijuana licenses

Top Democrats in the Maryland legislature have agreed to expand the ranks of medical marijuana growers in the state as part of an overhaul of the burgeoning but beleaguered industry.

Lawmakers are still wrangling, however, over which businesses should have a shot at entry into the lucrative market.

Fifteen companies preapproved last year by regulators can open cultivation sites as early as summer if they pass final inspections and background checks.

Five more growing licenses would be granted under a bill that passed the House of Delegates on Tuesday and is aimed at favoring minority-owned companies.

That bill will probably be amended in the Senate Finance Committee as early as Thursday. House and Senate negotiators say they’re on the brink of a compromise over how many new licenses to issue and whether to shrink the total number of growers if any company fails inspection.

The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, the largest caucus in the legislature, is insistent on expanding minority participation in the industry, after the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission failed to license any African American-owned growers.

Yes, the existing completely merit based evaluation with all personal demographic information scrubbed should definitely be expanded with a race based licensing addition....because it was the only way to get the Maryland Black Congressional Caucus (MBCC) their piece of pork, defuse their threatened blackmail, and keep the program moving forward.

Lawmakers are also trying to address the concerns of two other companies who sued the state after regulators rejected their applications in favor of lower-ranked bids from geographic regions of Maryland where no growers had been approved.

Again, all about pork.

But the 15 businesses already given cultivation licenses have banded together to oppose expanding the market, saying their business plans and pitches to investors were based on having an early and exclusive foothold in the industry.

“The way this whole entire thing was handled by this commission was really screwed up, so really the legislature is trying to resolve a messy situation,” said Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Calvert), who chairs the Finance Committee that is amending the medical marijuana bill.

As written, the legislation passed by the House calls for an expedited study of racial disparities that could be completed in time to justify a race-conscious selection of five new growers as early as fall.

This is beautiful. We in Maryland are going to do a study to prove historical racial discrimination in an industry that still really doesn't exist in order to justify giving very valuable licenses to people of a specific race. That is, these licenses will be issued on a racist basis.

The Black Caucus has dropped its demand that no medical marijuana businesses start operating until minority-controlled businesses got licenses.

This is the above mentioned blackmail attempt....well, successful blackmail, actually.

“We don’t want to delay the process,” said Del. Cheryl D. Glenn, the Baltimore Democrat who chairs the caucus. “We do want the patients . . . to be able to get the medications.”

She doesn't want to delay the program today...because she already got what she wanted. She was MORE than willing to halt the entire program in its much delayed tracks in order to get her special interest set-aside.

Middleton says he is supportive of the House legislation, which has more licenses meant for minority-owned companies than the Senate version. But he and other powerful senators, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), want to offer two additional olive branches to other industry players.

If any of the original 15 growers fail to pass inspections, they want to throw those licenses out of the pool rather than giving them to the next highest-ranked companies. This would effectively reduce the amount of competition among growers.

And they would also give licenses to Maryland Cultivation and Processing and Green Thumb Industries, the two companies denied in the name of geographic diversity.

They still have to solve this one. They are being sued for directing two licenses to specific teams who will operate in specific areas of Maryland as yet another example of pork belly politics.

Those companies have agreed to drop their lawsuits if a compromise is approved. If Middleton’s proposal for as many as 22 grower licenses gets pushback, Glenn said, the Black Caucus will prioritize licenses for minority-owned companies over the applicants suing the state.

“They absolutely were wronged by the commission,” Glenn said of Maryland Cultivation and Processing and Green Thumb Industries. “But I’m not willing to sacrifice any of the licenses that we have negotiated to be awarded to African Americans and other minorities.

What other fucking minorities....she is only interested in her own personal special interest groups, black Americans. In the posts above, you will see that there is indeed quite a bit of general minority participation as principals of winning teams. She is full of shit.

A leader of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Association, which represents preapproved growers and processors, said the association was opposed to “arbitrarily” increasing the number of licenses by nearly 50 percent to help applicants that fell short.

“Our members relied on commitments from the state when making their business decisions, and it is reasonable for them to expect that the state would honor those commitments,” Jake Van Wingerden, president of Cecil County’s SunMed Growers, said in a statement. “Many of our members are just months away from delivering medical cannabis to patients, and we are opposed to any changes that would cause additional delays to this important program.”

The licensing changes are encountering some Republican resistance — although GOP lawmakers do not have a strong enough presence in the legislature to threaten passage.

“They want to do a lot of things in a very critical point for this industry, and I do not want to see that because I want to see the industry move forward,” Del. Susan W. Krebs (R-Carroll). “I’m concerned about delays, and I’m also concerned about new lawsuits.”

The legislation would restructure the marijuana commission as well.

It also contains a provision to bar lawmakers from working in the industry, in response to the ethics probe of Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), who was reprimanded by the House for trying to shape industry regulations without fully disclosing he was affiliated with a prospective dispensary.

My utter contempt of politicians of all stripes just grows day by day.
Bill to diversify Md. medical marijuana industry fails in final seconds of session

By Fenit Nirappil April 11 at 1:22 PM
The leader of Maryland’s powerful Legislative Black Caucus knew she was facing defeat.

Del. Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore) made diversifying the state’s new medical marijuana industry a top priority for the largest caucus in the General Assembly, and the issue is personal. Maryland’s marijuana regulating commission is named after her mother, Natalie LaPrade, who died before she could use the drug to alleviate her cancer symptoms. As a black woman, Glenn was tired of seeing neighbors disproportionately locked up under drug laws but shut out of the profits of drug legalization.

In the waning moments of the 2017 legislative session Monday, Glenn secured the votes for a bill giving minorities a shot at five new licenses to grow marijuana under the state’s lucrative medical cannabis program. But she ran out of time.

With 22 minutes until the midnight deadline to send Gov. Larry Hogan (R) bills, Glenn marched over to the dais as presiding officers allowed time to praise legislative staff instead of considering legislation. She stood watch, pleading for her bill to have a hearing.

With barely 10 minutes left, members of a health committee rushed into the hallway to vote on approving amendments to end a standoff with the Senate over giving licenses to a pair of prospective marijuana growers suing state regulators. At 11:55 p.m., the bill came up before the full House.

One by one, Republican lawmakers delayed the vote by explaining their opposition and asking questions until the clock hit midnight. Confetti and balloons fell from the balcony to celebrate the end of the 90-day session. Glenn didn’t smile and rushed out of the State House.

Asked about the failure of the medical marijuana legislation, House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) quipped: “I need some.”

After months of fighting over who can share in the profits of marijuana legalization, Maryland lawmakers ended up back where they started. In a state that’s nearly one-third black, none of the companies approved to start growing Maryland’s first legal marijuana as early as this summer are owned by African Americans. And the state is still embroiled in a legal battle with two applicants who were rejected to make room for growers from underrepresented parts of the state; they planned to drop the lawsuit if the bill passed.

On Tuesday, Glenn said she would call on legislative leaders to hold a one-day special session to pass the medical marijuana bill. And she took a shot at Busch for not bringing the legislation up for a vote earlier.

“It’s not important to me what the speaker’s reasons or justifications were,” Glenn said. “What is important is to understand where this leaves the black community: It leaves us outside of the medical cannabis industry, and that is absolutely unacceptable.”

Alexandra Hughes, Busch’s chief of staff, said the speaker was devoted to reaching compromise on the medical marijuana bill and wasn’t trying to undermine it.

A group representing the 15 cultivation companies approved last summer by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission celebrated the defeat of the legislation. They lobbied against expanding the pool of growers, arguing that their business plans and pitches to investors were based on having an early and exclusive foothold in the industry.

“Our members never lost focus on the primary goal: getting medical cannabis to Maryland patients, hundreds of whom stepped up in Annapolis to make their voices heard,” said Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association. “We can now continue to move forward, confident in our ability to deliver as planned by the end of this summer.”

Other winners in the bill’s defeat included the three marijuana companies that were next in line to get growers licenses if any of the top 15 failed their final inspections or background checks. They argued that the best way to diversify the industry was to leave the process alone, because two of them were minority-owned and the third is led by women.

The bill was derailed by the inclusion of licenses for the companies suing the state because they were originally ranked in the top 15 growers but were rejected in the name of geographic diversity. Republicans and some Democratic lawmakers balked at the idea of the General Assembly resolving a legal dispute through legislation, even though the provisions ultimately had enough support to pass.

“Our job here isn’t to pick winners and losers,” Sen. James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) said Monday.

Members of the 16-member Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission were also fighting for their jobs because the legislation that failed Monday would have dissolved the body and, they say, deprived the state of its most knowledgeable marijuana regulators just when the program was about to go live.

“Any change to the structure of the commission would result in a delay and implementation of the program,” said Paul Davies, the commission’s chair.

Critics of the medical marijuana overhaul legislation said it might have ended one lawsuit, but would have prompted a new round of legal action from companies that stood to lose profits and market share.

“There’s a lot of money involved here,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). “Big, big, big money here.”

Glad the bill failed. Aside from there not being any prior historical discrimination in an industry that did not previously exist, some of the other features including disbanding the regulating commission would have caused chaos and delay. Glenn over reached IMO
Black Caucus calls for special session on medical marijuana

The head of the Legislative Black Caucus said Tuesday her organization wants Gov. Larry Hogan to recall the General Assembly to Annapolis for a one-day special session to pass a law expanding the medical marijuana industry.

That legislation failed in the waning minutes of the annual 90-day session on Monday night, ending a months-long fight to grant lucrative medical cannabis growing licenses to companies owned by minorities.

Despite a state law requiring regulators to seek racial diversity, none of the 15 firms to win preliminary licenses last year was led by African-Americans.

Baltimore Democratic Del. Cheryl Glenn, chair of the 51-member caucus, said the last-minute failure of the group's top priority left black lawmakers "feeling rejected, dejected and taken for granted" by the Democrats who lead the General Assembly. The caucus sought to issue another five licenses and reinvent the commission that had awarded the initial ones.

"Nothing changes, and most importantly, that means African-Americans are left out of this billion-dollar industry in Maryland, and that is not acceptable," Glenn said Tuesday.

Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer declined to comment on the request. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, referred the topic to House Speaker Michael E. Busch, also a Democrat. Busch said that the caucus needed to raise it with the governor.

Glenn planned a morning press conference Wednesday to continue to press the issue. She'll be joined by African-American prospective business owners, Baltimore defense attorney Billy Murphy, and representatives from GTI Maryland, a company suing the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission over how it awarded the initial round of licenses.

GTI and another firm, Maryland Cultivation and Processing, filed lawsuits against the commission after they were removed from the pool of winning applicants as the commission sought geographic diversity among growers. Negotiations broke down in the General Assembly over whether to write into state law that the two companies are entitled to a new license.

Miller insisted that any legislation contain that provision. Busch refused to consider it until late Monday, when it appeared no legislation would pass without the provision. The final vote on the House floor did not take place before the midnight deadline to adjourn.

Glenn said this has caused a rift between the caucus and Democratic leaders who rely on its members to help pass legislation.

"They failed us, and it stings," she said. "And the way that we resolve it is the one-day special session. Let's pick up where we left off."

The Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association, which represents companies that received initial permission to grow and process the drug, said the legislation's failure allows it to continue to "focus on the primary goal: getting medical cannabis to Maryland patients," hundreds of whom turned up in Annapolis to make their voices heard.

Dr. Paul Davies, chairman of the cannabis commission, said he was "very relieved" the commission would not be reconstituted and that it could continue work to issue final licenses that would put the drug in patients' hands by summer. The commission has hired a diversity consultant, and by law will re-evaluate in 2018 whether the market for medical marijuana can support more growers, processors or dispensaries.

"The commission gets the message that racial and ethnic diversity is important," Davies said. "We plan to aggressively pursue a policy of diversity."

Ok, let's take a look at this, shall we? Glenn states "means African-Americans are left out of this billion-dollar industry in Maryland, and that is not acceptable" which is absolutely and completely false. All Maryland residents were equally provided an opportunity to bid on licenses and the proposals were all scrubbed of ALL demographic information on the principals prior to evaluation. This is just complete and utter horseshit.

The issue is Glenn overreached and insisted that her racist quota for licenses bill also include shit canning the current Commission right as we are on the cusp of actually getting this program operational.

I think if she just stuck with trying to get 3-5 licenses for her special interest group (which ain't minorities in general or diversity in general....she is ONLY advocating for black citizens of Maryland) she may have gotten what she wanted.

She fucked up and I don't think she is going to get a special session for this crap bill but I may well be wrong. Whenever I think I have plumbed the depths of the venality of our professional political class, I find there is much yet lower for them to go.

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