A picture taken at dusk of the dome on Maryland's Statehouse

Jeff Weese

Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission has recommended 102 companies to operate dispensaries in the state according to a Baltimore Business Journal report. The law permits no more than two dispensaries in each of the state’s 47 legislative districts.

Of the 102 preliminary licenses, 16 are in Montgomery County, 14 are in Baltimore County, with 10 approved in Baltimore City. The dispensaries will now move on to stage two, which includes a $4,000 application fee, and an $80,000 biannual licensing fee.

One of the companies approved for a preliminary dispensary license in Anne Arundel County, Alternative Medicine Maryland, LLC, is one of three companies embroiled in a lawsuit against the commission. In the suit, Alternative Medicine Maryland contends that the commission “ignored race and ethnicity throughout the licensing process in clear contravention of its authorizing statute.”

GTI Maryland, another company who has sued the commission claiming they were unfairly denied a preliminary cultivation license, was also approved for a preliminary dispensary license in Montgomery County.

The move marks a small step forward for the commission, who has hired a diversity consultant due to claims that it failed to adhere to diversity requirements in the law. The commission says that the slow rollout of the program is due to the overwhelming interest in the program rather than blowback from the Legislative Black Caucus over the lack of diversity in the licensing process or the lawsuits.

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