Maryland MMJ commission has unpaid bill for application job

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The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has failed to pay the lion’s share of a $2.6 million bill incurred in large part for hiring a third party to review a deluge of applications for grower, processor and dispensary licenses.

The unpaid tab adds to the problems that have plagued the rollout of Maryland’s MMJ program.

The Baltimore Sun reported the MMJ commission has paid just $150,000 of the total that Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) said it is owed. The $150,000 is separate from the bill for the application review process, according to RESI.

A state audit found that the commission failed to take steps to ensure it didn’t overpay RESI to sort through the hundreds of applications, the Sun reported.

The audit also found the commission paid RESI approximately 60% more than initially anticipated for each application, according to the Sun. 

The Sun said the price tag to go over each of the 512 applications increased by as much as $1,335 for each one. The number of applications was three times the total expected.

The commission’s executive director, Patrick Jameson, told the Sun the agency opted not to pay because RESI didn’t provide more detailed invoices.