A state judge has barred the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from issuing cannabis licenses after one company claimed the process was flawed.
Judge Ronald B. Rubin issued the temporary restraining order Sept. 25 in response to a complaint by Remileaf, a company that had its application for a growing and processing license removed by the commission due to a missed deadline, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Remileaf claimed it submitted its online application by the May 24 deadline, but after other applicants experienced issues with the online system, the commission extended the deadline, which required Remileaf to resubmit its application, The Baltimore Sun reported. Remileaf claimed it sent a representative to the commission’s office at 4:55 p.m. on the day of the new deadline to submit a hard copy of its application, but the representative allegedly was not allowed into the office, and the company’s application was not accepted, according to the news outlet.
The Legislative Black Caucus has also requested that the commission put the licensing process on hold due to concerns about whether minority-owned companies had a fair opportunity to win a license in this round, which was created by a 2018 state law aimed at improving racial and gender diversity in the industry, according to The Baltimore Sun. The state received more than 200 applications for the 14 new licenses.
The commission was set to grant the four cultivation and 10 processing licenses during a public meeting Sept. 26, when Chairman Brian Lopez instead announced it would take the commission more time to review the applications, the news outlet reported.
Rubin’s order prohibits the state from awarding the cannabis licenses until Oct. 7, pending hearings on Remileaf’s complaint, The Baltimore Sun reported.