Governor overhauls Maryland medical cannabis commission

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan overhauled the state’s 16-member medical cannabis commission this week, making 10 appointments and doubling its minority representation.

Hogan filled three vacancies on the panel, replaced six commissioners whose terms had expired and reappointed a 10th commissioner, assistant comptroller John Gontrum, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

Critics of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission – including the Legislative Black Caucus – have charged the panel lacked diversity and failed in a mandate to ensure minorities are represented among grow and dispensary licensees.

The other nine appointees, according to the Business Journal:

  • Charles LoDico, a senior chemist/toxicologist for the Department of Health
  • Barry Pope, a drug rebate manager and PBM clinical pharmacist for Conduent State Healthcare
  • Brian Lopez, a partner and executive vice president for Osprey Property Co.
  • Alvin Davis, a partner at Cumberland Anesthesia and Pain Management Associates who specializes in cardiac and thoracic anesthesia
  • Jeffrey Gahler, the Harford County sheriff since 2014
  • Charles Smith III, state’s attorney for Frederick County since 2007
  • Rahel Rhodes, a horticulture associate agent and master gardener coordinator for the University of Maryland Extension – Queen Anne’s County
  • Ehsan Abdeshahian, a staff physician with specialties in pain and sports medicine for Advanced Pain Management Specialists
  • Scott Welsh, the owner of Maryland Flower and Foliage, where he maintains 160,000 square feet of greenhouse space and 100,000 square feet of outdoor growing areas