MD appoints new medical marijuana regulator

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Maryland’s governor has appointed a new patient advocate to the state’s 16-member medical cannabis board.

The move comes amid criticism that Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission failed to consider racial diversity when it awarded its first batch of grower licenses in August, the Washington Post reported.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Saundra Washington, an African-American cancer survivor and director of a nonprofit that assists people in need.

The commission issued 15 cultivation licenses this summer, none to African-American companies. That triggered a lawsuit alleging the commission broke its own rules during the selection process.

The commission has since said it would develop a plan to increase the diversity of MMJ license winners.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus vowed to introduce emergency legislation to pause the state’s medical marijuana program until the issue was resolved, the Post reported.