“No More Delays” Rally in Baltimore a Success
June 02, 2017 | Beth Collins
Dozens of medical cannabis patients and industry advocates gathered this morning in front of the courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland to protest further delays to the state’s medical cannabis program. The potential delays came from a restraining order issued by a Circuit Court Judge, preventing the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) from awarding any further licenses. The restraining order was initiated as a result of allegations by a company not awarded a contract that the MMCC discriminated against minority-owned businesses. To date, the commission has only issued one license to a medical cannabis business.
The rally, organized by CANMD, a Maryland wholesale medical cannabis trade association, took place prior to a morning Baltimore Circuit Court hearing on preventing the program from moving forward until the allegations are addressed. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued a stay just minutes before the hearing was scheduled to start. This was good news for the protestors and the over 6,500 patients who have registered for the program so far as this will allow the licensing process to move forward, at least for now.
Americans for Safe Access was at the rally to point out that the medical cannabis program in Maryland was approved due to the hard work and persistence of the medical cannabis patient community. While ASA would like to see the diversity of the Maryland population equitably represented in the medical cannabis industry, this should be accomplished through the legislative process without delaying the program any further. Patients have waited four years since the legislature approved the program, and patients continue to suffer without access.
Patients and industry leaders are hopeful that the program will start serving registrants sometime late this summer.