The Department of Health is under fire because it has still not issued a medical cannabis license to a Black farmer. Lawmakers grilled the department to find out what was responsible for the delay on Thursday.
When the Legislature passed its medical cannabis law in 2017, one grower’s license was reserved for a Black farmer. “So that the medical cannabis licenses in our state would have equity,” said state Sen. Darryl Rouson.
Rouson called the Department of Health before the Senate Agriculture Committee to explain why the Black farmer’s license isn’t among the 22 that have already been issued. “Years have passed since this Legislature spoke,” said Rouson.
The department blamed the delay on a lawsuit challenging the state’s seed-to-sale requirement for license holders. The state Supreme Court finally ruled in the state’s favor in May. “We are working quickly and anticipate moving forward with the Pigford MMTC licensing process in the coming weeks,” said Christopher Ferguson, director of the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.
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