Maryland court again refuses to delay medical cannabis licensing

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Maryland’s medical marijuana commission can continue to issue cannabis cultivation licenses.

The state’s highest court denied a motion Friday to continue a temporary restraining order that blocked the commission from issuing cultivation licenses for about a week because of a lawsuit against the commission. A week ago, the Court of Appeals issued a stay on the TRO.

The court also agreed to hear arguments from finalists to be licensed who contend they should have been allowed to intervene in the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals set a July 27 hearing date.

Brian Brown, an attorney for Alternative Medicine Maryland, advised the commission not to issue any more cultivation licenses until his client’s lawsuit against the state is resolved.

“The commission would be unwise to issue growers’ licenses, given that we remain fully confident that we will succeed on the merits under any circumstances, thereby invalidating the medical cannabis licensing process as it was conducted contrary to the law,” Brown said.

Alternative Medicine Maryland wasn’t among the 15 companies selected to receive a provisional cultivation license, so the company filed suit alleging the commission didn’t consider diversity as required by law when selecting finalists.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has issued only one of 15 licenses allowed under the law, awarding one last month to ForwardGro.

Maryland’s MMJ rollout has been fraught with setbacks and delays since the state’s first law was approved in 2013 and revised into a more workable format in 2014.

– Associated Press