Minorities in the state of Maryland are at a disadvantage in the state’s medical cannabis licensing process, according to the report of a state consultant hired to review a 2017 disparity study after controversy arose over the fact that no minority-owned businesses were awarded a medical cannabis license.
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In an effort to increase racial diversity in the state’s medical cannabis industry, the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus has announced plans to introduce a bill during the next legislative session that would award additional medical cannabis licenses to businesses owned by African-Americans.
Despite missing a key state deadline earlier this month, three more medical marijuana growers won final licenses on Monday to cultivate the drug.
After news of possible connections between experts hired to evaluate marijuana business applications and the applicants, Maryland marijuana officials are investigating potential conflicts of interest.
Despite claims of discrimination, Maryland lawmakers have rejected calls to hold a special session on medical marijuana.
On April 27, 2017, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he had ordered the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs to launch a disparity study on the state’s medical marijuana program.
On April 12, 2017, members of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus called on Gov. Larry Hogan to recall the General Assembly for a one-day legislative session aimed at passing House Bill 1443, a measure meant to help diversify the state’s medical marijuana industry.
A battle over Maryland’s medical marijuana program is coming down to the number of licenses. Lawmakers are wrangling over increasing the number of medical marijuana licenses to achieve racial diversity. The law currently allows for 15 licenses. The Legislative Black Caucus wants to increase the licenses by five.
Alternative Medicine Maryland’s lawsuit is the second legal challenge seeking to overturn the commission’s preliminary decision in August on which 15 companies will grow the drug.