The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded 11 medical cannabis cultivation and processing licenses Oct. 1 in an effort to diversify the state’s industry, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The three cultivation and eight processing licenses were issued after more than a year of delays stemming from logistical errors and allegations that the process was flawed, the news outlet reported.
Viola Maryland, Herbiculture Cultivation and MAS Alliance won “pre-approval” for the cultivation licenses, according to The Baltimore Sun, while Herbiculture Manufacturing, Organic Remedies MD, Bouquet Labs, Element MD, AHI Group, Ceres Naturals, Marileaves Extractions and Greener Good were awarded pre-approval for the processing licenses.
At least half of all the companies’ ownership qualifies as “disadvantaged,” female or minority, the news outlet reported.
Maryland has planned to issue the additional licenses since 2018, when the state legislature approved a law that required the state to expand its medical cannabis program to include more racial diversity, according to The Baltimore Sun.
The 2019 application process for the licenses hit technical snags that forced the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to extend the application period, and a state judge barred regulators from issuing the cannabis licenses in September 2019, after one company claimed the process was flawed.
The state planned two investigations into the licensing process last fall, and a consultant’s report issued last month indicated that there were no problems serious enough to stop the awarding of the licenses, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The Maryland Cannabis Commission can still award one additional cultivation and two additional processing licenses, according to the news outlet.