Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Approved First Marijuana Operation

On Wednesday, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission voted unanimously to grant final approval to ForwardGro, a company that operates a 2-acre warehouse in Anne Arundel County. The company is permitted to start cultivating marijuana immediately.

It has been over four years since the state legalized the medicinal use of pot and this is the first license to grow medical marijuana the commission has issued.

ForwardGro’s product is expected to be available to patients some time this fall, officials say.

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission

“I’m overjoyed,” said Gail Rand, the company’s chief financial officer. Rand began lobbying the Maryland General Assembly over five years ago to legalize marijuana. Her son, Logan, suffers from epileptic seizures and hopes that the drug will minimize his symptoms. One of ForwardGro’s initial cannabis strains was previously chosen to treat Logan’s condition.

In August 2016, a total of 15 companies, including ForwardGro were granted preliminary licenses to earn final approval to cultivate marijuana. Since then, two lawsuits have been filed against Maryland’s medical marijuana commission over how the licenses were awarded.

One of the initial winners had their preliminary growing license suspended on Wednesday by the commission. MaryMed LLC failed to provide the commission with documents associated with Vireo, Health, the firm’s parent company, and its operations in Minnesota and New York.

Allegations have surfaced that two of Vireo Health’s former top officials moved marijuana oil valued at $500,000 illegally from its Minnesota operation to its New York facility. Minnesota prosecutors filed felony drug charges against one of the former officials.

The commission did not comment further on the reinstatement of MaryMed’s preliminary license.

The other 14 companies have yet to ask for final approval, but executive director of the commission Patrick Jameson said he expects some are close.

According to the commission, a total of 6,500 patients have already applied for the state’s medical marijuana program, while 276 doctors have registered to prescribe the drug.

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