The highest state court has ruled that the Medical Cannabis Commission can continue to issue final licenses for growers who produce medical marijuana. As we reported last week, Judge Barry Williams had halted the case which derived from a company alleging that the Cannabis Commission did not incorporate racial diversity when selecting preliminary winners last summer. However, the order to temporarily halt the issue of final licenses had expired on Sunday and the court decided today to continue the allowance of final licenses to be awarded.
The Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association, an organization comprised of many of the preliminary winning licensees, was very grateful to see that the court ruled in favor of them once again. Many of the growers and processors have spent millions of dollars in preparation for their final licensure which now they can officially obtain with this ruling. There has already been one final license awarded to ForwardGro, based out of Anne Arundel County. Alan Rifkin, the trade organization’s attorney stated, “We are gratified by the Court’s swift disposition of the restraining order, thus allowing this critically-important public health program to proceed.”
John Pica, the attorney representing Alternative Medicine Maryland, the company that filed the lawsuit, believes that his client still has a solid case and that this ruling was “only one round in a championship fight.” Alternative Medicine Maryland’s ownership is comprised of 84% African-American ethnicity and they feel as though the commission did not follow the law when selecting winners in regards to racial diversity.
However, there is even greater gratification by the patients who are relieved that they are one step closer to having access to the medication that they have so desperately yearned for. Patients and advocates of Maryland’s Marijuana Program have been deprived of medication by unforeseen delays since the program’s inception in 2013. While situations of diversity should be addressed, they should not do so at the expense of debilitated patients.
With Medicine anticipated to be available before the summers end, now is the time to make an appointment to receive your Maryland Medical Marijuana Card. Contact Green Way Consults at 410-762-8745 to make an appointment to receive your MMJ card. Do not hesitate to call if you would like to ask questions about the state of Maryland’s Cannabis program.