Maryland Cannabis Lottery Faces Potential New Delay As Social Equity Applicant Sues MCA

A total of 1,708 applications were received by MCA’s deadline in December

A new lawsuit filed against The Maryland Cannabis Administration threatens to delay the lottery after another separate lawsuit failed to get an injunction in February.

A previous lawsuit filed by Jeffery Jensen, a lawyer with a history of bringing social equity lawsuits against states, failed to get an injunction last month. Andrew Garrison, chief of the office of policy and government affairs at MCA, testified that the “[a]dministration anticipates that the cannabis license lottery will occur during or near the first week of March 2024.”However, the lottery has not been launched this week, nor have qualified applicants entered in the lottery heard an update from MCA as of Mar. 5, 2024. MCA did not respond to request for comment about this new lawsuit.A total of 1,708 applications were received by MCA’s deadline in December. 264 of those applications were for adult-use dispensaries.Unlike the Jensen’s lawsuit which hinged on alleged unconstitutional denial of social equity status, this new lawsuit in Anne Arundel County accuses MCA of denying entry to a qualified social equity applicant due to computer system errors.According to court documents filed mid-February, Kalil Traore, a 65% owner of KG Wellness #4 LLC, was not verified as a social equity candidate until 19 minutes before the application deadline on Dec. 12, 2023.

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