Maryland Firm Drops Licensing Lawsuit Following Backlash

Maryland cannabis operator Curio Wellness has withdrawn the lawsuit filed late last month against the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission over its plan to issue new cannabis licenses to minority-owned companies.

Full story after the jump.

Maryland’s Curio Wellness has withdrawn their lawsuit against the state cannabis regulator’s plan to expand the number of medical cannabis licenses, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. CEO Michael Bronfein said that while he stands by the “merits of the lawsuit” he is dropping the suit because he doesn’t want to divide the community.

“I have seen comments and accusations that in no way reflect the values of this company and are not an accurate depiction of the hardworking people of all races and ethnicities I work with every day. These are concerns to which I cannot, and will not, turn a blind eye… It’s simply not true this lawsuit was intended to challenge the effort to improve diversity in our industry.” – Bronfein, in a statement to Baltimore Business Journal

In his statement, Bronfein noted that 36 percent of his workforce is female and 38 percent is African American. Diversity is “not just a goal,” he wrote. “It’s who we are.”

The lawsuit has argued that the state Medical Cannabis Commission had broken its own rules with its plan to increase the number of licenses because they had not completed a supply and demand survey. The new licenses are set to be awarded to minority-owned cannabis companies following a commission disparity study that found none of the state’s licensed cannabis companies were minority-owned.

The new licensing round is open for interested applicants until May 24. In all, there are 13 licensed cannabis companies currently operating in the state.   

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