Maryland's medical marijuana program was approved in 2013 but has faced several delays and still awaits it's launch. In order to avoid further delays the Medical Cannabis Commission voted to approve licenses for three medical marijuana growers' despite them missing the deadline to be operational earlier this month. Maryland's medical marijuana program has attracted some controversy as none of the owners of the 15 marijuana companies picked are Africa-American. State law requires the commissioner to seek diversity, but lawmakers won't be able to change the program now until the legislators gather again in January 2018. Over 12,000 patients have registered for the medical marijuana program and only one dispensary is currently ready and approved for sales.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission voted to grant approval for three of the five companies that had missed the deadline to be operational by Aug. 15. The other two firms were granted formal extensions.
None of the 15 companies picked a year ago are owned by African-Americans, even though a state law required commissioners to actively seek diversity when awarding licenses.
The Legislative Black Caucus has been pressing for ways to expand the lucrative growing industry to include African-Americans, who make up about a third of the state’s population. “Our frustration is that these companies will already have a head start on any African-American who eventually will get a license.”