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Medical marijuana regulators stall industry expansion amid complaints of unfairness

Maryland’s medical marijuana regulators abruptly stalled a planned market expansion on Thursday after one company sued them and an influential group of state lawmakers separately complained of “impropriety.”

The delay prolongs a three-year effort to enhance diversity among medical marijuana wholesalers and raises new questions about whether laws passed to remedy past regulatory missteps are working as planned.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is set to disband Tuesday under reforms adopted in 2018, and regulators were rushing to approve new licenses in advance of the creation of a replacement commission.

Now, an industry launched amid legal and political controversy faces it again.

A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked regulators from issuing new growing or processing licenses, ruling as part of a lawsuit alleging the commission illegally excluded one of the license applicants, a firm identified in court papers as Remileaf, LLC.

Separately, black lawmakers raised concerns that as the 200 companies that applied for the new 14 licenses learned whether they were among the top-ranked firms, it appeared minority-owned companies were again being left out of the lucrative industry.

“I have too many African Americans that worked extremely hard, put in a whole lot of money ,” said Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

 

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