Patrick Jameson

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Maryland: Officials Warn Of Medical Marijuana Scammers

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Scammers are taking advantage of medical marijuana patients in Maryland that are still months away from being able to legally obtain cannabis, according to industry officials and regulators.

There are reports of companies selling "marijuana cards" or offering exams to "preapprove" medical marijuana patients.

Officials say neither of these is legitimate.

“They are telling patients that they have the ability to preapprove them for the medical cannabis program, and that is a lie,” said Darrell Carrington, executive director of the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association. “There is no such thing as preapproval.”

No physicians in Maryland have yet been authorized to issue certifications for legal medical marijuana. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has issued preliminary licenses to businesses to grow and dispense marijuana, but none have received final licenses or begun operation.

“We know there are already attempts at fake patient identification cards being promulgated,” Patrick Jameson, executive director of the commission, said in a statement. “This type of fraudulent activity preys against the most vulnerable people in society and we will do everything possible to stop this behavior. Only patient identification cards issued by the Commission are legitimate. At this point no ID cards have been issued.”

Maryland: Medical Marijuana Commission Awards Preliminary Dispensary Licenses

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission has received 882 dispensary license applications, and has awarded licenses to 102 dispensaries so far, a WBAL-TV report states. Officials also said they were in the process of hiring a diversity consultant to address the lack of diversity claims in the licensing process.

“The commission is in the process and plans to hire an expert consultant who specializes in minority business affairs to do a disparity evaluation and provide future guidance on minority business enterprise initiatives and make recommendations to the commission,” Patrick Jameson, executive director of the commission, said in the report.

Members of the Black Legislative Caucus made allegations that the commission had “ignored race and ethnicity throughout the licensing process in clear contravention of its authorizing statute,” which led to the decision to add a diversity consultant.

The agency has met with members of the Black Legislative Caucus and the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs to discuss the concerns of stakeholders.

Commissioner Paul Davies says the program has experienced delays, but only because of its early success.

“This program has had more applications that we are aware of than any other state in the country,” he said.

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