Maryland has awarded preliminary medical marijuana licenses to more than 20 companies to cultivate and process cannabis in the state, the Baltimore Sun reports. At least three of the companies have political ties.
Del. Dan K. Morhain will serve as the clinical director for Doctor’s Orders Maryland, who was approved grow and processing licenses. Morhain, a physician and a Baltimore County Democrat, has been the chief advocate in the legislature for medical marijuana. He currently represents Baltimore County in the House of Delegates.
Holistic Industries of Prince George County was buoyed by a letter of recommendation from Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller – who called the note “nothing spectacular.” Miller wrote letters for other companies with only Holistic Industries netting a license. Former State Health Secretary Nelson Sabatini serves as a Holistic Industries partner; while Gerry Evans, an Annapolis lobbyist, represents the company.
Frank Boston, another Annapolis lobbyist, serves as a minority partner in Green Leaf Medical, who was granted a growing license.
Green Leaf Medical president and CEO Philip Goldberg believes the selection process was fair but was “sure there are people who didn’t win who don’t feel that way.”
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission received 146 total grow applications and 124 license and process applications. They had 15 licenses available for both categories and some applicants won licenses for both.
“I’m excited that we have a great number of outstanding companies willing to help sick people in Maryland,” Dr. Paul W. Davies, chairman of the commission, said in a statement.
Next, the companies will be subject to a second stage review which includes financial reviews and more thorough background checks.
The commission has not yet announced the recipients for the 94 dispensary licenses available in the state – for which, they received more than 800 applications.
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