Local Prosecutor Joins Md. Medical Marijuana Commission

He is one of ten appointments to the panel made by the Governor.

Frederick, Md (KM). There’s some local representation on the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission. Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith was appointed by the Governor on Thursday.  He was one of 10 candidates chosen for the board.

Smith says he was offered the post by the Hogan Administration. “With all sincerity, I was a little hesitant to accept the appointment. They did contact me. They do need a prosecutor on that commission. Someone with that perspective,” he says.

“My issue really was at first I just really believe that medical marijuana or medical cannabis is an issue best left to doctors and the medical community, and not legislators,” he says.

But he says many of these issues were already decided when the General Assembly passed legislation legalizing medical cannabis.

The Medical Marijuana Commission was set up to oversee the development of policies, regulations and procedures for growing and dispensing medical marijuana. It also decides which applicants receive licenses to grow and dispense medical cannabis.

Smith says the panel will also be dealing with other issues. “There’s disparity litigation right now about geographic and racial disparity in terms of who gets these licenses,” he says. “There will also be a number of issues of how it’s grown, how it’s distributed and whose actually a qualifying person.”

But Smith says he’s ready to take on this responsibility. “There’s a lot of issues that need to be addressed. I’m up to task. It’s legislation that’s on the books. So really I believe my hesitancy with regard to whether it’s medicine or not is irrelevant at this point. We just need to insure that the legislation is rolled out  as smoothly as possible,” he says.

A Frederick company, Wellness Solutions, received a license from the state to operate a medical marijuana dispensary. But the cannabis is not expected to be available in the state until September of this year, or later.


By Kevin McManus