The lawsuit against the state of Maryland by two would-be medical cannabis companies will be allowed to proceed and the result could halt the state’s yet-to-launch regime, the Baltimore Sun reports. The plaintiffs, Maryland Cultivation and Processing and GTI Maryland, accuse the state of acting arbitrarily in denying them cultivation licenses.

The lawsuit argues that the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission improperly gave licenses to two lower-ranked firms because the plaintiffs were not informed their proposed geographic location would determine whether they got a license.

Alfred F. Belcuore, a lawyer for Maryland Cultivation, said all the commission conveyed “was they would pick the best.”

“If we would have been asked to move from Frederick County into Prince George’s County, we would have said yes,” he said in the report.

Regulators argue the law requires “geographic diversity” and they were just in making their decision based on that factor.

Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams said that if the court finds that licenses were improperly awarded it could force the MMCC to reconsider the awards. In a separate lawsuit against the state, Alternative Medicine Maryland, LLC claims the agency ignored the “racial and ethnic” provisions in the law; none of the 15 cultivation licenses awarded last year were to an African-American-led firm.

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