Maryland medical cannabis businesses settle lawsuit that threatened program

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

A lawsuit that might have been disastrous for the Maryland medical marijuana industry has ended.

The Baltimore Sun reported the suit, filed by Alternative Medicine Maryland, was settled Thursday after 16 months, removing a case that aimed to scuttle existing MMJ cultivation licenses and begin the application process once again.

The MMJ company, which was denied a cultivation license, sued the state in 2016, arguing the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission illegally disregarded racial diversity when selecting growers, even though state law required regulators to “seek” minority inclusion.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • African Americans do not run any of the 15 cultivators that have received licenses.
  • Alternative Medicine Maryland is 80% black-owned.
  • The lawsuit was intended to force the state to tear up the approvals of all 15 approved cultivators and start the application process over again.
  • The license winners joined the suit as defendants to safeguard their permits.
  • The Sun reported state regulators are working to add five more cultivation licenses to companies owned by African Americans.
  • Alternative Medicine Maryland’s lawyer told the newspaper the marijuana company will apply for one of those licenses.