Cannabis cultivation licensing process to be dissected in court.
As The Baltimore Sun has reported, the trouble may be continuing for the Maryland cannabis program. Two cannabis cultivation centers in the state were denied their license to grow despite being among the state’s top 15 growers. In September 2016 they filed a lawsuit against the state, and this week they were officially granted their day in court. State regulators wanted the case thrown out, citing that two firms that ranked substantially lower than them were awarded licenses. The state says this was in order to broaden geographic diversity in accordance with state law.
Despite these pleas, Circuit Judge Barry Williams judged that this case should still go to trial. The two cannabis cultivations filing this lawsuit are Maryland Cultivation and Processing and GTI Maryland. Both believe that the choice of who the licenses went to was arbitrary and did not represent the process the commission originally laid out for them. Essentially, their argument is that if it was about location, they would have moved.
However, state regulators and one garden that did receive a license instead of them disagree. Holistic Industries, a cannabis cultivation that received a license despite not being in the top 15, is confident that the prosecuting lawyers will have trouble finding any foul play. They are in full agreement with the state in that considering geographic diversity as a part of their choice fit into their scope of responsibility.
In the trial, we will learn exactly what went into deciding who received a license. This is welcome information, and not just for those involved with this case. That is because the decision process has been disputed by multiple parties since they were originally announced in April 2016. The state is already under scrutiny for lacking racial diversity since not one of the winning firms is run by an African American. Another lawsuit looms over state regulators regarding what may be a very important issue within their state licensing process.
With this case going to court and possibly others waiting in the wings, Maryland could see a wrench thrown in their cannabis program.