Maryland Marijuana Panel makes license decisions for Growers, Processors

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 09, 2016.

Three years after Maryland first legalized medical marijuana, the state's Medical Cannabis Commission on Friday unanimously voted to give initial approval to 15 medical marijuana growers and 15 processors in the state, from 145 grower license applications and 124 processor applications.

The field of hopefuls includes three companies such as Harvest of Maryland, GTI-Maryland and Peake ReLeaf — that have publicly proposed cultivation and processing of medical marijuana. However the Commission will release the names to the public on Aug. 15 after completing some administrative processes

This is also just the first stage of the process. The 15 growers and 15 processors must pass comprehensive financial due diligence and background checks to receive a license, which will take next several months.

"Pre-approval is not a license. This is just a step toward getting a license," said Patrick Jameson, executive director of the commission. "This is absolutely necessary to ensure the financial integrity, legal integrity and ethical integrity of the applicants and the program."

The commission can award up to 15 grower licenses and an unlimited number of processor licenses, but the commission said it would initially award only 15 processor licenses. The panel made its choices based on a double-blind review of applications by Towson University's Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI).

However, more than 800 applications to operate dispensaries are still under review by an independent panel of experts.

Notably, the lawmakers of Maryland passed a legislation to allow marijuana for medical use in the state in 2014.

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