950 people applied to legally grow or sell marijuana in Maryland under the state’s new medical cannabis program. According to the Washington Post, many are current or former law enforcement, who made their careers busting pot smokers.
The list includes former DEA agents, the leader of Maryland’s police union, former IRS criminal investigators, former Homeland Security officials and even Cecil County, Maryland sheriff Barry Janney, who still runs that county’s jail.
What’s bringing these former cops to the table? Money. Big money. With 15 huge cultivation licenses and 92 dispensary licenses up for grabs, Maryland’s medical marijuana program will dwarf neighboring D.C.
Plus, Maryland’s extensive farm land means greenhouse and open-field cultivation, something impossible in DC’s urban footprint. Maryland will also permit home delivery of medical marijuana, obviating the need to appear at a public dispensary.
Of course, Maryland’s medical cannabis program is a placeholder for the day when full recreational use is legalized. November’s vote for full legalization in California may be a bellwether for the nation.
Do these new marijuana entrepreneurs feel any remorse for the tens of thousands of Marylanders they busted for weed. If you guessed no, you’d be right. Will Maryland release from jail or probation those still serving marijuana sentences. Hardly.
Zukerberg & Halperin, PLLC is a full-service law firm representing individuals and businesses in the District, Maryland and Virginia.