MD: Seven Medical Cannabis Growers Granted Processing Licenses

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Cumberland – Although the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission decided this spring to separate the issuance of growing and processing licenses, seven companies were issued both.

Allegany County was poised to receive an operation in the form of the well-financed Peak Harvest Health LLC. Peak had sought both a growing and processing license and hoped to locate at the site of the former Kelly Springfield Tire Co. The company had planned to hire up to 100 people.

However, when the selections were made public by the commission on Aug. 15, Peak Harvest was passed over.

Fallout continues following the Aug. 15 commission announcement of the recipients of 15 stage one growing and 15 processing licenses.

Although many questions are being raised about the selection process, Paul W. Davies, commission president, has said publicly he is “very happy,” with the process.

On Saturday, Patrick Jameson, the commission’s executive director, announced that the names of the top 20 rated growing companies and top 30 rated processing applicants will be released this week.

Firms selected for stage one approval still have to pass additional scrutiny and inspections before being grant a final stage two approval to operate.

“Now that the commissioners have made their selections, the real work begins for these companies,” Jameson said. “We will implement a rigorous stage two background and financial due diligence process for these entities prior to issuing a license. A pre-approval is not a license.”

Much more has been learned about the process since the Aug. 15 announcement.

It has become known that several of those selected for licenses have strong political ties in Maryland with some being political donors, according to the Washington Post.

The applications were rated by a staff from the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University. However, the final selections were made by the commission.

The seven companies receiving both growing and processing stage-one approvals are:

• Curio Cultivation LLC – Baltimore County

• Doctors Orders Maryland LLC – Dorchester County

• Holistic Industries LLC – Prince Georges County

• Kind Therapeutics USA LLC – Washington County

• Maryland Compassionate Care LLC – Carroll County

• MaryMed LLC – Dorchester County

• Temescal Wellness LLC – Baltimore City

Identifying information and geographic location of applicants were redacted from the documents examined by the Towson group in effort to avoid accusations of favoritism.

However, the commission utilized geographic location in its final decision. Davies said the 14th- and 15th-rated growers were bumped to select numbers 20 and 21 to create greater geographic diversity of approved applicants.

African American applicants are also questioning the process. News outlets have reported that few minorities were awarded licenses.

Some applicants are making Maryland Freedom of Information Act requests to further scrutinize the selection process.

Yet to come is an announcement of the 94 companies that will receive dispensary license from nearly 900 applications. Two dispensaries are permitted in each legislative district.

The commission had nearly 150 applicants for the 15 growing licenses and 124 applicants for the 15 processing licenses. Processors will have the task of turning the plants into pills and other medicinal products.

Paul Hetzel, an Annapolis-based businessman, was granted a stage one approval to establish a processing operation in Allegany County.

Companies like Peak Harvest that did not get selected may still have a chance to operate in the state if other companies fail to make the final cut or some firms decide to partner with other applicants.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Seven Medical Cannabis Growers Granted Processing Licenses
Author: Greg Larry
Contact: (301) 722-4600
Photo Credit: Joe Rondone
Website: Cumberland Times-News