Cookies Baltimore fined $81K but will reopen for MD adult-use marijuana sales

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Cookies Baltimore will be reopen for business in time for the first day of adult-use marijuana sales in Maryland on July 1.

However, the store must pay an $81,500 fine and will be on a one-year probation for breaking state law during its grand opening in May, regulators ruled.

Cookies Baltimore is owned by Noxx Cannabis, which is licensing the popular California-based marijuana brand in its home state of Michigan as well as Maryland.

The Baltimore outlet opened for business in Maryland’s medical marijuana market under its new branding May 27.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission suspended the store’s license June 2 after discovering several violations during on-site inspections and via social media.

The violations included using a celebrity image to market cannabis, inoperable video-surveillance equipment, a missing security door and the use of a Cookies-branded “large plastic smoke inhalation device” that blasted marijuana smoke on people queued up outside the dispensary on its opening day.

As part of a June 25 settlement agreement, Cookies Baltimore’s suspension was lifted provided the store:

  • Pays an $81,500 fine for the video-surveillance, advertising and security-door violations.
  • Trains staff on security and advertising procedures as well as “crowd control and behavior during large events.”
  • Provides state regulators with monthly proof its video surveillance is working.
  • Undergoes “a complete inventory audit.”

Cookies Baltimore said in a news release that it would reopen “later this week” after it “closed early June to make some improvements.”

Any sales between the dispensary’s reopening and the July 1 start of adult-use sales will be only for MMJ patients, the release noted.

“We want to express our gratitude to all our patrons for their patience and support during the facility improvement process that took place during June,” Tommy Nafso, the CEO and founder of Noxx, said in a statement.

“We’re eagerly looking forward to seeing you soon.”

The release reminded customers that public consumption of marijuana remains illegal in Maryland.