The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission announced the names of 102 applicants that have been awarded licenses to operate a dispensary in the state’s new MMJ market, which is expected to become one of the largest on the East Coast.
The companies were selected from 811 applications. They still must pass background checks before receiving the final go-ahead.
The commission, which has been dogged by complaints and lawsuits over its licensing program, said it employed a Nobel Prize-winning algorithm to help filter out the candidates.
In August, regulators announced the 15 growers and processors approved for licenses.
In the latest round, established companies from other states were among those winning dispensary licenses, including Harvest from Arizona and Columbia Care from New York.
Ten MMJ growers that won licenses also were awarded dispensary permits.
Each winner has a year from the “pre-approval” date to get their business off the ground.
Maryland’s licensing process has been bumpy, with multiple lawsuits and delays in the past year. One lawsuit alleged the cannabis commission failed to consider racial diversity when it evaluated license applicants.
Maryland physicians have also had a tepid response to the medical marijuana industry, with just 1% of all doctors in the state signing up to recommend MMJ.