Cannabis cultivation companies in Maryland and Pennsylvania are involved in controversies because of their ties to multistate medical marijuana company Vireo Health.
MaryMed, a medical cannabis cultivation licensee in Maryland formerly owned by Vireo, was told it won’t receive its final license, while MMJ regulators in Pennsylvania are under fire for awarding a grow license to Vireo subsidiary Pennsylvania Medical Solutions.
At issue in both cases is a December 2015 incident in which two Vireo executives allegedly smuggled $500,000 worth of cannabis oil from Minnesota – where the company is headquartered – to its subsidiary Vireo Health of New York.
In denying MaryMed a license, Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Commission cited concerns about Vireo Health and said there was a “reasonable likelihood of diversion of medical cannabis” by MaryMed, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Commissioners said MaryMed failed to comply with requests to provide information about the alleged incident involving the Vireo officials, who were mentioned on MaryMed’s Maryland license application. Consequently, the commissioners voted to not award a final grow license to MaryMed, which was once of 15 companies to receive preliminary grow licenses, the Sun reported.
According to Vireo spokesman Andrew Mangini, MaryMed has been “its own separate and independent company” since a 2016 spinoff.
The executive director of the Maryland commission said another cultivator license won’t be granted until the MaryMed issue is resolved, according to the newspaper. The process could involve a lengthy administrative hearing, and MaryMed says it will appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Health Department is having to defend its decision to award one of 12 grow licenses to Vireo-owned Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, Philly.com reported.
“The permits are given to business entities, not people,” health department spokeswoman April Hutcheson told Philly.com.