Cannabis plants inside of an indoor, commercial grow operation.

Sarah Climaco

Head of Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission Resigns

The executive director of Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission has resigned as regulators are in the process of awarding 14 new cultivation and processing licenses with the goal of increasing the industry’s diversity.

Full story after the jump.

Joy A. Strand, the executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, has resigned, the Baltimore Sun reports. Strand is a former healthcare executive who joined the commission in December 2017.

“Thanks to her leadership, the Maryland medical cannabis program is among the nation’s leaders in safety and equity.” — Commission chair Brian Lopez, via the Baltimore Sun

Strand’s resignation comes as the commission is in the process of awarding 14 new cultivation and processing licenses in an effort to expand the participation of minority- and women-owned businesses; the state received more than 160 applications by the May deadline. 

The General Assembly is also considering bringing adult-use legalization up for a vote during the next session. That task force met for the first time in June. 

Will Tilburg, the agency’s director of policy and government affairs, will serve as acting executive director. Strand’s resignation takes effect on Oct. 1. 

The terms of all 16 commissioners are set to expire at the end of the month and the number of members will be reduced to 13 under a bill passed last year. Gov. Larry Hogan, however, could potentially re-appoint current members.

Maryland medical cannabis sales topped $128 million through July.

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