Despite claims of discrimination, Maryland lawmakers have rejected calls to hold a special session on medical marijuana.
The rejection comes in response to a letter penned by Del. Cheryl D. Glenn, chairwoman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus, who called on lawmakers to hold a special session to issue more medical marijuana licenses after none of the 15 awarded licenses went to businesses owned by African-Americans.
Under state law, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is required to seek diversity in its licensing.
According to The Baltimore Sun, the idea of a special session was rejected not because legislative leaders particularly disagreed with Glenn but rather because of logistical concerns. In addition to the inherent difficulties of getting legislators to return for a special session, House Speaker Michael E. Busch is also currently recovering from a liver transplant, which further complicates the matter.
In lieu of a special session, Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have offered “full support for passage of emergency legislation” once the legislature reconvenes in January 2018.
Speaking with the Baltimore Sun, Glenn explained that while she is disappointed that there will be no special session, she is nonetheless “sensitive to the health issues of the speaker,” and is ready to move forward.
“The next step will be to make sure we have the legislation drafted and agreed upon by all the major entities,” Glenn said.