Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Announces
102 Dispensary License Pre-Approvals
Baltimore, MD (December 9, 2016) – The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (“MMCC”) today announced the names of 102 Dispensary entities who have been awarded Stage One license pre-approvals from a total of 811 applications submitted for up to 109 available licenses statewide. This marks the conclusion of this phase of the Grower, Processor, and Dispensary application process. Each pre-awardee has 365 days from date of pre-approval to implement their operations.
Dr. Paul W. Davies, Chairman for the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission stated, “These qualified entities will be on the front line providing medical cannabis to qualified patients in Maryland. They will have a tremendous responsibility in serving the legitimate needs of those patients that seek medical treatment.”
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s Executive Director, Patrick Jameson stated, “These dispensaries will be the new face of the medical cannabis industry in Maryland, once final licenses are issued. The Commission has an expectation that these dispensaries will operate in an extremely professional manner. Professional business operations will provide reassurance to the general public that these companies will have a positive impact on their communities. The Commission will tightly regulate these dispensaries and looks forward to a productive working relationship with their management and staff.”
Pursuant to COMAR requirements, the Commission was tasked to recommend pre-approval of up to two licensed Dispensaries per Senatorial District, other than the number of licensed grower dispensary facilities located in the Senatorial District. The full Commission voted unanimously on 92 Dispensary applications for pre-approvals, as well as 10 pre-approvals associated with pre-approved Growers, for a total of 102. Two Senatorial Districts had only 1 pre-approval for those Districts and the remaining Districts were awarded 2 pre-approvals. By regulation, a party is only permitted to have an interest in one license in the State of Maryland.
All 10 Grower pre-awardees who submitted a separate Dispensary application were awarded a Dispensary pre-approval. Each Grower-associated Dispensary application was evaluated and scored on its own separate merit, as with the remaining 92 pre-approvals.
MMCC commissioned the Regional Economic Studies Institute (“RESI”), a division of Towson University, to coordinate the review of the Dispensary applications by subject matter experts and to utilize the same process as used for the Grower and Processor applications, including compiling the scores and application rankings. The Commissioners reviewed blinded applications which were redacted as to the applicant names, entity names, and locations, and used a Nobel Prize winning mathematical algorithm, most famously used by the “National Resident Matching Program”, to place applicants into Senatorial Districts, using both the applicant’s score and District preferences. All applicants, including those who did not receive pre-approvals, were notified today as to the status of their application via email and US mail.
The pre-approved Dispensary entities will continue on to Stage Two of the approval process, which will include undergoing criminal background investigations, financial due diligence, and compliance inspections by the MMCC, as well as completing regulatory requirements, raising capital, securing local zoning approvals, and construction of facilities. The Commissioners will vote for licensure in a public meeting once compliance with the regulatory requirements is complete.
Entity Name District
Advanced Alternative Therapies LLC
AGG Wellness LLC
Allegany Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Alternative Medicine Maryland LLC
AmediCanna Dispensary LLC
B1 Earthgroup Inc.
Bethesda Biomedical Inc.
Blair Wellness Center LLC
Bloomworks Wellness LLC
Blu Pharms LLC
Blue Mountain LLC
Blue Ridge Wellness LLC
Budding Rose LLC
CannaPharmacy Maryland LLC
Cannavations MD LLC
Charm City Medicus LLC
Charm City Relief Partners LLC
Chesapeake Alternatives LLC
Chesapeake Health Sciences
Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute LLC
Columbia Care MD LLC
Compassionate Herbal Alternatives Inc.
DLD Enterprises Inc
Euphoria Wellness Maryland LLC
Evolution Wellness LLC
Farmalogics Health & Wellness LLC
Four Green Fields LLC
Freestate Partners LLC
G&J Pharmaceuticals LLC
GreenMart of Maryland
GTI Maryland LLC
H&G Maryland LLC
Hippocratic Growth LLC
Jenny’s of Maryland I LLC
Jova Wellness Center
K&R Holdings Inc.
LMS Wellness BLLC
Maryland Alternative Relief Inc.
Maryland Earthworks Inc.
Maryland Health & Wellness Inc.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Co. LLC (M2C2 HerbaFi)
Maryland Natural Treatment Solutions LLC
Maryland Physician Partners LLC
Maryland Wellness Access LLC
MCNA Wellness LLC
Medical Products and Services Inc.
Metropolitan Medicinals LLC
Mission Maryland LLC
Nature Care & Wellness LLC
OC Botanicals LLC
Our Community Wellness & Compassionate Care Center Inc.
PalliaTech Maryland LLC
Peake ReLeaf LLC
Peninsula Alternative Health LLC
Positive Energy LLC
Premium Medicine of Maryland LLC
Pure Hana Synergy LLC
Pure Life Medical Inc.
Revolution Maryland Retail LLC
Southern Maryland Relief LLC
The Apothecary LLC
The SENTEL Group LLC
Three Creeks Dispensary
Time for Healing LLC
Town Center Wellness LLC
Trilogy Wellness of Maryland LLC
WadeWomen LLC-Dr. Dot’s
Wellness Institute of Maryland
Pre-Approved Growers Granted Dispensary Pre-Approvals:
Curio Dispensary BC LLC
Doctors Orders Maryland LLC
Freestate Wellness LLC
Harvest of Maryland
HMS Health LLC
Holistic Industries LLC
Kind Therapeutics USA LLC
Maryland Compassionate Care & Wellness LLC
Temescal Wellness of Maryland LLC
SENATORIAL DISTRICTS IN MARYLAND*
DISTRICT 1 (Allegany, Garrett & Washington Counties)
DISTRICT 2 (Washington County)
DISTRICT 3 (Frederick County)
DISTRICT 4 (Carroll & Frederick Counties)
DISTRICT 5 (Carroll County)
DISTRICT 6 (Baltimore County)
DISTRICT 7 (Baltimore County & Harford County)
DISTRICT 8 (Baltimore County)
DISTRICT 9 (Carroll & Howard Counties)
DISTRICT 10 (Baltimore County)
DISTRICT 11 (Baltimore County)
DISTRICT 12 (Baltimore County & Howard County)
DISTRICT 13 (Howard County)
DISTRICT 14 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 15 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 16 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 17 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 18 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 19 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 20 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 21 (Anne Arundel & Prince George's Counties)
DISTRICT 22 (Prince George's County)
DISTRICT 23 (Prince George's County)
DISTRICT 24 (Prince George's County)
DISTRICT 25 (Prince George's County)
DISTRICT 26 (Prince George's County)
DISTRICT 27 (Calvert, Charles & Prince George's Counties)
DISTRICT 28 (Charles County)
DISTRICT 29 (Calvert & St. Mary's Counties)
DISTRICT 30 (Anne Arundel County)
DISTRICT 31 (Anne Arundel County)
DISTRICT 32 (Anne Arundel County)
DISTRICT 33 (Anne Arundel County)
DISTRICT 34 (Harford County)
DISTRICT 35 (Cecil & Harford Counties)
DISTRICT 36 (Caroline, Cecil, Kent & Queen Anne's Counties)
DISTRICT 37 (Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot & Wicomico Counties)
DISTRICT 38 (Somerset, Wicomico & Worcester Counties)
DISTRICT 39 (Montgomery County)
DISTRICT 40 (Baltimore City)
DISTRICT 41 (Baltimore City)
DISTRICT 42 (Baltimore County)
DISTRICT 43 (Baltimore City)
DISTRICT 44 (Baltimore City & Baltimore County)
DISTRICT 45 (Baltimore City)
DISTRICT 46 (Baltimore City)
DISTRICT 47 (Prince George's County)
A Letter from the Chairman of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission:
I am writing in response to a recent Washington Post news article, in which the Maryland Attorney General’s office made public statements regarding the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s licensing process. The advice given to a client by its lawyer should be complete, confidential and thorough.
When drafting the original law for issuing licenses to grow, process, and dispense medicinal cannabis in the State of Maryland, the Commission initially took every step possible to include racial diversity as a weighted component of the regulations. The specific legislative intent required the Commission to, “actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity when licensing medical marijuana growers; and encourage applicants who qualify as a minority business enterprise...” Health-General, Annotated Code of Maryland, sections 13-3306(a)(i)(1).
The Commission deliberately supported this language in the original statutory language because of a strong belief that minority inclusion is of paramount importance to this new industry. After requesting the customary legal review, the Commission subsequently received thorough and complete legal advice from the Maryland Office of the Attorney General stating that race-based mandates would violate the United States and Maryland Constitutions. Based on the Attorney General’s opinion to Delegate Chris West concerning this issue, the Commission found it necessary to remove the provisions from the final regulations.
To be specific, an opinion letter dated March 13, 2015 to Delegate Chris West, written by Assistant Attorney General Kathryn M. Rowe, stated:
“The provisions of Croson and Fisher apply to ethnicity in the same way as race. They do not, however, apply to geographically conscious programs. Thus, the law should be read to have full force to the extent that it requires the Commission to seek geographic diversity to the extent possible [emphasis added]. Moreover, it is not unconstitutional to encourage businesses of any type, including those in the minority business enterprise program, to apply to participate in any type of government program. Constitutional limits, however, would prevent the Commission from conducting race- or ethnicity conscious licensing in the absence of a disparity study showing past discrimination in similar programs. I am aware of no study that would cover grower or dispensary licenses, or even licensing in general [emphasis added]. Most State licensing programs license everyone who meets the licensing qualifications, and thus would not give rise to the ability to pick some and not others. As a result, the efforts of the Commission to seek racial and ethnic diversity among growers and dispensaries would have to be limited to broad publicity given the availability of the licenses and encouragement of those from various groups.”
The Attorney General’s Office at the time of that opinion admitted that there was no such disparity study known to exist nor did they promulgate other novel remedies.
I, as the Chairman, along with all of the other Commissioners, followed strict regulations and guidelines defined at the beginning of the application process as required by law, to ensure a fair and objective selection process. The Commission enlisted Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (“RESI”) to conduct the evaluation of applicants through a double-blinded process. Due to the Attorney General’s opinion and the change in the legislative language as noted above, there were no requirements to disclose race on the application. In addition, all identifying information such as individual, entity, investor, and employee names was redacted. The Commissioners voted only on coded and redacted RESI applications.
We all know that this process was extremely competitive. The Commission received 145 Grower applications, but could only grant up to 15 Grower pre-approvals because of statutory limitations implemented by the legislature. Additionally, we realize that this emerging industry creates numerous possibilities for growth and economic opportunity for many in Maryland. We take our responsibility extremely seriously to ensure that qualifying patients, the sick and suffering of Maryland, are provided with a process to receive the most safe and effective medicine possible. We remain dedicated to this mission and are confused to see the Attorney General’s office recent public statements regarding their position.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that the Commission is committed to seeking and promoting racial diversity and minority inclusion. We believe that diversity is in the best interest of the industry and an important responsibility. The Commission will continue to work with the legislature to help solve these complex problems.
Paul Davies, M.D., Chair
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is releasing the 1 through 20 Grower and 1 through 30 Processor names with their Commission rankings (see list below). There were many highly-qualified Grower and Processor applicants; however, the Commission was limited to granting up to 15 Grower pre-approvals due to statutory limitations issued by the legislature. The Commission temporarily limited the number of Processor pre-approvals to 15 due to resource management. Five extra Grower applications and 15 extra processor applications were voted on to be pre-approved should any of the pre-approved entities not result in final licensure. Beginning June 1, 2018, the Commission will review supply and demand and may be able to issue more licenses if necessary, based on the need.
Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (“RESI”) was enlisted by the Commission to review, evaluate and rank the applications received from interested applicants. RESI employed and the Commission adopted a double-blind review process. The top ranked 20 Grower and top ranked 30 Processor applications were voted on only by coded number prior to the de-coding process. The other RESI rankings (rankings from the twenty-first ranked application to the 145th application for Grower, and thirty-first to 124th for Processors) have not been de-coded nor voted on by the Commission.
As a reminder, the pre-approved entities announced on August 15 have not been issued licenses. They will undergo extensive background checks, financial due diligence, and inspections in the next phase of a two-stage approval process.