NFL’s Top Advocate for Medical Marijuana Takes on Maryland Regulators

October 17, 2016
First Harvest Financial

Eugene Monroe, the NFL’s most prominent cannabis advocate before he was released from The Baltimore Ravens, is currently partner at a company that is suing regulators in Maryland for rejecting their proposal to grow marijuana.

According to Monroe and other officials from Green Thumb Industries, they were unfairly rejected from receiving a license to grow marijuana for medicinal use, and they claim this denial was illegal.

Monroe also voiced his concern that the lawsuit will obstruct their company’s plan for growing, which has already been met with many issues.

“I played a long career in the NFL, suffered many injuries, and I’m a Maryland resident that looks to use cannabis as therapy,” said Monroe, who was released from his $37.5 million contract in June. “I don’t want to see this drag out longer, too.”

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission declared that it anticipates medical marijuana to be available to those in need by the year 2017, which is four years after its use was legalized.

Unfortunately, the program has been rife with controversy, which has resulted in numerous postponements. One of the most heated issues regarding the program involves the nonexistent racial diversity among companies that are approved to grow medical cannabis. Furthermore, the state’s decision to shuffle applicants right before the deadline to granting licenses has been met with harsh disapproval.

Green Thumb Industries is a branch of a grower based in Chicago, and is also linked with dispensaries in Nevada and Massachusetts. The company’s application to grow for medicinal use in Maryland was ranked among the top 15.

Much to the dismay of Green Thumb officials, their application was denied in favor of growers who ranked lower. Those who were awarded licenses happened to be growers in areas without much representation. Cannabis regulators claim their actions were intended to preserve diversity in growers across the state.

Previously, commissioners had informed applicants that their geographical location would not be a factor when decided how licenses were allocated.

“You don’t change the rules after the game has been played, and yet that’s what’s happened here,” said Monroe.

While Green Thumb is actively seeking a preliminary license so that they are able to legally function, they are not trying to prevent other growers from participating in the industry while their case is in progress.

Both the commission and the Maryland Attorney General’s office have chosen not to comment on the ongoing lawsuit.

As reported by The Washington Post, Buddy Robshaw, vice chairman of the commission, said that the exact addresses of applicants’ grow sites “is not relevant.”

He went on to state that location was only a factor when applicants were asked what county the growers operated in, as a method to ensure each area of the state was equally represented. For more information regarding NFL’s top advocate for medical marijuana, [Click Here].