More Maryland MMJ delays possible as state seeks to boost diversity

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Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission aims to devise a plan to increase the diversity of medical marijuana license winners, a move that could further delay the launch of a program already months behind its original schedule.

“Nothing is off the table,” Commission Chairman Paul Davies told reporters this week following a meeting with Attorney General Brian Frosh. The two officials talked about ways to legally increase how many minority applicants receive medical marijuana licenses, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The cannabis panel awarded 15 growing licenses and 15 processor licenses last month, but only a handful of minority-led teams were among the winners. Roughly a third of Maryland’s population is African-American, according to the Sun.

The dearth of minority winners brought heavy criticism of the commission, which has since vowed to increase the diversity of Maryland’s medical cannabis industry – even if it means delaying the program, Davies said.

Attorneys general and medical marijuana commissioners in the state will be asked to work together to come up with solutions to the diversity problem, Davies said.

Another 811 applications are pending before the commission for up to 94 dispensary licenses.