Maryland Court Grants Stay In Medical Marijuana Case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/ AP) — Maryland’s highest court has intervened in a legal case that could have led to further delays in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera issued an order on Friday that halted a hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court, where Judge Barry Williams had been scheduled to review his decision last week to temporarily stop the commission from issuing any more licenses. Williams’ order expires Sunday.

The courtroom was packed this morning and a rally on the sidewalk outside lasted hours longer than the court case inside.

The civil suit is brought by a company not given a license to grow and claims minority business owners didn’t get a fair shake.

“The injunction that’s on the docket today will pull the rug out from under the entire industry and maybe set it back years,” said Jake Van Wingerden, president of SunMed Growers.

Van Wingerden said they’ve spent years playing by the state’s rules.

For now, they’ve won, but the next steps for Maryland’s marijuana industry is still delayed.

Attorneys who represent the company bringing the civil suit have already fired back. They filed a motion asking the court to keep the licensing process shut down.

Alternative Medicine, a company that was not selected as a finalist to be licensed to grow marijuana, is suing the state over the licensing process.

Alan Rifkin, an attorney representing companies that were named as finalists, says his clients asked the Court of Appeals to intervene, so his clients could have their interests heard in the case.

“They were denied the very due process that I believe they were entitled to,” Rifkin said.

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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