Maryland Awards First Full License To Company For Growing Medical Marijuana
Maryland received its first full license for growing medical marijuana on Wednesday, May 17. The commission which oversees the licensing program awarded the license to ForwardGro LLC.
The pharmaceutical company will soon be able to grow and produce its own marijuana-based medication. However, before ForwardGro can begin selling medical marijuana, its dispensaries require a further license.
Maryland's First Medical Marijuana Certificate
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's decision to award the license came after several delays side-tracked the state's goal of introducing medical marijuana to help the people who needed the substance for medical use.
"Medical cannabis production will change the face of Maryland and will have a profound economic and health impact on the entire region," Patrick Jameson, the executive director of the commission, stated after awarding the medical marijuana license to ForwardGro.
In August 2016, the Maryland Medical Cannabis awarded pre-approval licenses to nearly 15 firms. On Wednesday, after careful consideration, the commission decided to grant the full license to ForwardGro.
ForwardGro's CFO Gail Rand revealed that she was ecstatic with the decision. She is optimistic that the medical marijuana license will eventually help her son who suffers from epileptic seizures.
Flower wholesaler Bell Nursery's CEO Gary Mangum is one of the major contributors and part owner of ForwardGro. He is also a top donor for Governor Larry Hogan.
ForwardGro also profits from the influence of George Johnson, ex-County sheriff and superintendent at the state Natural Resources Department. Johnson is currently head of security at ForwardGro and has also invested in the company.
Delays In The Licensing Process
The licensing program's progress was hampered due to a series of lawsuits, which hit the commission. Most of these were from jilted companies who were denied medical marijuana licenses for the growth and production of medical marijuana.
Innumerable accusations marred the commission's licensing program. One of the lawsuits alleges that the commission did not account for racial diversity, while another accuses it of reshuffling the winning list under the pretext of geographic diversity.
A jilted medical marijuana license applicant also moved court to file an injunction, seeking the immediate prohibition on awarding licenses.
Verdict On Other License Applicants
The commission also announced on Wednesday that it canceled three pre-approved licenses, which were given to MaryMed LLC. It was one of the 15 organizations to have been issued the preliminary approvals. The commission members revealed that MaryMed's licenses were revoked after it failed to provide information the regulatory body required from the company.
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