Maryland probes possible ethics violations in MMJ licensing process

Maryland regulators are investigating potential conflicts of interest that occurred during the state’s application process for medical marijuana cultivation, extraction and dispensary licenses, The Washington Post reported.

In fact, some independent reviewers hired to examine medical cannabis applications had ties to businesses bidding for MMJ licenses, according to the Post.

It’s the latest setback for a medical cannabis program that has been slowed by lawsuits alleging cultivation application reviewers didn’t follow selection rules as well as criticism that regulators failed to include a sufficient number of minority-owned businesses.

Now, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) is investigating connections between MMJ license applicants and application reviewers hired by the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University, the newspaper reported.

Advocates told the newspaper the marijuana industry’s small size makes it difficult “to find people who have expertise in marijuana businesses but no connections to companies trying to expand into Maryland.”

The Maryland commission hired the Towson institute to oversee 20 industry experts to review MMJ applications, according to the Post.

Another issue between the MMCC and university came to light in May, when it was disclosed that the MMJ commission hadn’t fully paid Towson’s Regional Economic Studies Institute for its reviewer services.

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4 comments on “Maryland probes possible ethics violations in MMJ licensing process
  1. Brett Roper on

    One additional thing I am curious about … how were the applications created and by whom? If these SME’s created the applications the other conflict is that others known to them could have some form of knowledge that allowed them to have more time as well as insight as to how best craft them for submission. I am not aware of any other state ever had the type of question/content and response MD provided (117 plus elements), depending upon the type selected noting many had multiple part responses limited to small word counts that could have easily been identified by keyword of comment allowing evaluators to give additional scoring points. One too many conspiracy theories? 🙂

  2. Donnie Anderson on

    [email protected]

    Here is the real problem who did you call In
    California to help with the cannabis ordinance
    We will not stand by and watch y’all give these
    License to white only. Baltimore has a vast
    Minority community and we are experts in the
    Filed. Give us a call or some of our colleagues

  3. Jim P. on

    This seems like it won’t take shape until 2019, at this rate. Incompetence abounds everyone involved. For and seemingly against. Meanwhile people don’t get their medicine. I’m beginning to loathe my state

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