Steve Thompson, head of accounting, focuses on government and politics in Maryland, DC and Virginia on Oct. 28 at 12:41 players. The State Medical Cannabis Commission has issued an "administrative block" on all products containing marijuana grown by ForwardGro, which operates a large greenhouse in Lothian, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. The reservation, communicated to the state's 69 dispensaries on 7 October, has been described as a "precautionary measure". The commission ordered the vendors to "quarantine" ForwardGro products, adding: "Follow-up instructions will be provided in the future". later, patients and caregivers do not know what kind of risk the new regulatory agency could protect itself. ForwardGro was Maryland's first company to obtain a full license to grow marijuana for medical purposes prior to the launch of the sector last year. Maryland legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 2013, but the launch of the program was fraught with difficulties and controversy. The suspension of ForwardGro products is now one of the first demonstrations of how the Commission intends to be flexible in its regulatory power.
ForwardGro's CFO, Gail Rand, in 2017, as the state's medical cannabis commission approves commercial licenses. (Bill O 'Leary / The Washington Post) The commission's action comes after Former employees of ForwardGro complained this summer that the company was illegally using pesticides on its crops. The company denied the allegations. ForwardGro investors include well-connected political donors and former government officials. Gary Mangum, the general manager of wholesaler Bell Nursery Flowers and one of Governor Larry Hogan's major donors (right), is one of the partial owners. [The past four years: Has Hogan delivered on his campaign promises?] Commission spokeswoman Jennifer White declined to comment on the restraint, beyond a brief statement citing national regulations authorizing the agency to act if "she has reasonable suspicions of operational failure or conditions creating risk of diversion, contamination or risk to public health. "The Commission does not comment on ongoing investigations," White said in an e-mail, "and this investigation is ongoing. Commission Chair Brian Lopez did not return repeated messages Executive Director Joy Strand said the agency had issued more quarantines, but declined to say how much or how they had been resolved. "The MMCC can not comment on any investigation," Strand said in an e-mail.The agency's silence has left industry players puzzled. "I do not think it's in the patient or industry not to be informed when a recall or suspension is issued, "said Mackie Barch, President of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Association, of which ForwardGro is a member." I do not understand why the state has not brought more clarity. "" From the patient's point of view, it's a little scary, "said Barch." From the company's point of view, if that happens, it does not work. so much to your business. reputation, but secondly, it affects your overall financial performance. Barch said the clinics selling ForwardGro products have also suffered. "People have a payroll to meet, bills to pay, and when this surplus of this unknown state is covered, it paralyzes your business," he said. "I do not think it's fair for ForwardGro or the other companies that depend on its products." [A medical marijuana dispensary in Maryland banned patients for online complaints, prompting investigation] Wendy Bronfein, Director of Marketing at Curio Wellness, stated that her company did not have any ForwardGro products in its Timonium dispensary at the time of the reservation. Nevertheless, she found the Commission's information breakdown frustrating. "All players should be able to understand when the powers in place involve a company and a product, and in this case a hold on," Bronfein said. "The lack of transparency is not productive." ForwardGro officials declined to say if they knew if the commission's decision was related to allegations of pesticide use, that's why it was not possible. they called it an "attack on our company". "We cooperate with the Commission. and working to learn more about the basics of suspension and how to solve this problem, "ForwardGro spokeswoman Vicki Bendure said in an email. "All of ForwardGro's products have successfully passed pesticide tests performed by an independent, state-approved laboratory, and ForwardGro remains committed to providing quality medical cannabis to Maryland patients." In affidavits sent to lawmakers this summer, three former employees of ForwardGro claimed that the company had started pesticides when the initial crops showed signs of white powdery mildew and other problems. "They were just desperate," said one of the former employees, Evan Norris, during an interview. "They were willing to try anything." Norris and the others claimed to have complained to the company's executives before leaving this year and then making their allegations public. This spring, the General Assembly passed a law making legal the use of various pesticides by marijuana growers for medical purposes. Therefore, at least some of the pesticides mentioned by former employees may be legal. .