As many as 14 new medical marijuana licenses are up for grabs in Maryland and recent reports suggest that over 160 applicants are having fierce competition to get hold of one of them, which include 4 ‘growing’ and 10 ‘processing’ licenses.
The decision to issue these licenses has been taken to promote ‘diverse ownership’ in the medical cannabis industry of the state.
This comes more than a year after Governor Larry Hogan and state lawmakers passed a law to encourage participation by women and minority-owned businesses.
The new application process, however, has fallen prey to malfunctions, which the regulators are trying hard to fix by Friday.
Reportedly, many applicants faced trouble submitting their applications last Friday, the deadline, as the website’s server was overloaded with requests.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, however, ensured all applicants that no technical glitch will deprive them of having a fair shot at the licensing process. “We know how hard folks have worked over the past few months to put together highly qualified applications,” Chairman Brian Lopez was quoted as saying to a leading newspaper.
Reportedly, all applicants who have paid their $2,000 application fees would receive notifications – no later than Friday – on whether their packages were completed properly or if additional information is needed.
Joy Strand, Executive Director of the commission, also assured applicants of all the possible help they need to address a grievance that may have popped up because of a technical issue.
Around 2 years ago, the commission drew flak from many people who were skeptical of the licensing process that selected the first 15 companies to grow cannabis.
Notably, Strand, Lopez and the other commission staff have spent much of the past year traveling the state to raise awareness about the new licenses within the minority business community at seminars, forums, community centers, historically black colleges and other places.