Maryland medical cannabis businesses settle lawsuit that threatened program

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.

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6 comments on “Maryland medical cannabis businesses settle lawsuit that threatened program
  1. Milton on

    Equal rights or affirmative action? Doesn’t make a difference when you don’t start with a level playing field void of back door deals or conflict of interest.

    • Lisa on

      Maryland legislators are hoodwinking voters again. They are trying to pass a Minority inclusion bill that will award 5 additional grow and processor licenses firms who are already approved. How is it possible or constitutional to do a set aside for these companies who where not discriminated against, and unconstitutional to put into law set aside for those who where legitimately discriminated against such as African Americans and women.

  2. William on

    It states “African Americans” don’t hold any of the 15 licenses. But minorities absolutely do. I didn’t realize African Americans were a ‘special’ minority. So the law requiring regulators to “seek” minority inclusion was followed, just not their satisfaction. And now legislation is seeking 5 additional licenses for “African American” companies only, no other minorities? Interesting.

    • Lisa on

      @William get informed. African Americans in Maryland are locked out of major industries repeatedly. You didn’t realize they are a special group probably because you’re not aware of they’re egregious experiences from law enforcement and state legislators. African Americans make up more than 33% of MD population. Voters supported a Bill that included minority inclusion, yet once passed state legislators at the highest levels, appointed a commission that wasn’t diversed. Hence, this commission issued licenses to large companies who are politically connected and law enforcement. All of which are white males. This commission factored in geographic considerations instead of racial considerations as the Bill required. Thirty grower and processor licenses was illegally awarded as determined by Maryland courts. A disparity study was done with findings that support the intentional discrimination as it relates to African Americans access to major industries but specifically the cannabis industry in Maryland. As it stand today, Maryland state legislators are massing a Minority inclusion Bill intended for inclusion of AA, but will be awarded to firms who already have a licenses to settle law suits against the state. Get the facts

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