Baltimore, Maryland, Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams has temporarily halted the state’s medical marijuana program. Judge Williams granted a temporary restraining order that bars Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from granting any new licenses to grow medical marijuana until a June 2nd hearing. The hearing is part of a lawsuit that alleges that regulators failed to consider racial diversity when licensing businesses.
Alternative Medicine Maryland, a majority-black-owned company, is the one behind the lawsuit. The company didn’t get a license and alleges that regulators didn’t consider minority ownership. Regulators had pre-approved 15 companies and not one was run by African Americans.
Judge Williams said he granted the motion “on the grounds that irreparable harm will result to plaintiff in the form of loss of ability, once all licenses are issued” to other businesses.
The businesses that had been pre-approved have until August to pass final background checks and inspections.
According to Executive Director Patrick Jameson, the commission will comply with the order to not grant new licenses and continue working to develop the program.
“AMM is simply not qualified to deliver high-quality medical cannabis to patients, and the Circuit Court should not let a failed out-of-state company cause even further delays in Maryland’s medical cannabis program,” argued Jake Van Wingerden, chairman of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association.