One of the two companies denied a medical marijuana grower license in Maryland is suing the state Medical Cannabis Commission, alleging that the body broke its own rules during the license granting process last month, the Baltimore Sun reports. Green Thumb Industries Maryland is seeking a court injunction to reverse the decision, which will likely cause further delays in the already embattled program.
The company argues that it was ranked higher by Towson University’s Regional Economic Institute, the analysts charged with assessing the applications, but that two companies ranked lower received licenses instead. Buddy Robshaw, MMCC commissioner, said the law requires geographic diversity and the body acted within the confines of the law.
In the suit, filed yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court, the company calls the commission’s decision-making process “illogical, opaque and fatally flawed,” arguing that the contracts are worth “tens of millions of dollars” and the loss of the contract would be “devastating” to the company.
“This is a case about a state commission setting rules and then inexplicably failing to follow them,” Philip M. Andrews, who is representing GTI in the suit, said in the report.
The second company, Maryland Cultivation and Processing LLC, also ranked in the top 15 contenders for licenses but have not yet taken any action against the board. Edwin Weidenfeld, a company partner, indicated that they are considering joining GTI’s suit or filing their own.
“I want to give them a chance to clean up their own mess because I have concerns that a lawsuit will end up delaying this,” he said. “But better it be delayed than corrupted.”
Separate from the suit, the program faces another possible setback as African-American lawmakers are planning to introduce emergency legislation to address the lack of cultivation licenses awarded to minority-owned businesses, to which the commission did not issue any of the 15 available licenses.