A lack of diversity in medical marijuana licensing has raised concerns in Maryland, specifically by a number of black state lawmakers – most recently including Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D).
Simultaneously, the Washington Post reports that there have been calls by the head of the legislative black caucus to prohibit elected officials from participating in the industry. Officials who backed the measure are questioning a fellow politician who also supported the legislation – and then later was welcomed aboard a company seeking a license to cultivate and distribute the drug. Del. Cheryl Glenn says the failure of Del. Dan Morhaim to make his dual roles clear. Both Glenn and Morhaim are Democrats from Baltimore.
These issues combined have proven impediments in a legalization process that has been marked with numerous missteps and delays since Maryland voters approved medical marijuana three years ago. Now, the state is clearing 15 companies for cultivation of the drug and another 15 companies for marijuana processing. None of those 30 companies are owned or operated by an African American – despite the fact that one-third of the population in Maryland is black. Continue reading