Maryland’s highest court has blocked a Baltimore judge from holding a hearing to consider whether or not to put the state’s embattled medical marijuana program on hold. At the heart of the issue is a lawsuit alleging that the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission did not consider racial diversity when selecting which growers to award preliminary licenses to.
Last week, Circuit Judge Barry Williams issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the MMCC from issuing any additional cannabis cultivation licenses. In the ruling, Williams said that companies without final licenses were not allowed to have a say in whether or not the licensing process should be stopped.
A hearing was scheduled for last Friday to discuss the implications of putting the industry on hold versus allowing it to continue despite the “potentially unconstitutional” decision not to address the racial diversity of the license holders. The companies appealed Williams’ ruling, arguing that they had already invested millions of dollars in their businesses since being approved by the state.
“Our clients played by the rules and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Alan Rifkin, an…