Two companies that were passed over by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission are alleging unfair treatment and threatening legal action over their application denial, according to a Washington Post report. The row is the latest setback in the rollout of the medical marijuana program — earlier this week, the Legislative Black Caucus indicated they were planning emergency legislation to address the lack of minority-owned business approved by the commission.
The companies, Green Thumb Industries Maryland and Maryland Cultivation and Processing, claim that the board passed them over due to “geographic diversity” despite having higher scores than the companies actually granted the licenses. Buddy Robshaw, MMCC commissioner, said the law calls for such diversity and they were operating within the confines of that law.
“We wanted everybody who would substantially look at this to come back and say, ‘You know what, the commission did create geographic diversity when we licensed marijuana,’” he said in the report.
Pete Kadens, GTI chief executive, said he was ranked in the top 15 — the total number of allowable licenses under the law — and he was passed over for Holistic Industries and Shore Natural Rx because of their location in Worcester County.
“We were dismayed by the outcome, and believe the commission’s decision and process were improper and fundamentally flawed,” he said.
Cultivation and Processing Partner Ed Weidenfeld said applicants were promised the licenses would be awarded to “the most suitable applicants.”
Both companies are pushing for the legislature to move the cap on grower’s licenses from 15 to 20, but have asked the commission to preserve documents related to the licensing decision — a preliminary step for a lawsuit.
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