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Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's Chair steps down

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Chair Tiffany Randolph, who has served on the Commission since 2017, announced during the
Commission’s December 15 meeting that she will step down from her seat effective December 31, 2022.

Chair Randolph was first appointed by the Governor to serve
as a Commission member in 2017, filling the required role of
an attorney who is knowledgeable about medical cannabis
laws. She was reappointed and named vice chair in 2019 and assumed the role of chair in 2021.

“It has been a distinct pleasure and honor to serve on the Medical Cannabis Commission,” said Chair Randolph. “Over the past five years, commissioners and staff have established Maryland as a model medical cannabis program and helped prepare the state to transition to an expanded medical and adult-use market. I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues on the Commission for their hard work and continued dedication to this program.”

Under Randolph’s leadership, the Commission prioritized reducing administrative burdens, particularly for patients and small businesses, and streamlining regulatory processes. In the past year, the Commission extended the patient registration period from three to six years, reduced registration fees for patients and cannabis agents by 50 percent, and eliminated pre-employment drug screening requirements for cannabis agents. In addition, average patient application processing times were reduced from two weeks to two days or less.

In her role as chair of the Application Review Subcommittee, Randolph also oversaw the award of 14 out of 14 grower and processor licenses to minority- and women-owned firms
in 2020. As a result of these efforts, Maryland is among the most diverse cannabis markets in the United States in terms of the percentage of minority-owned businesses holding licenses. Likewise, in 2022, nearly two-thirds of medical cannabis industry employees were women and/or minorities – a new high.

“The Commission has benefitted significantly from Commissioner Randolph’s leadership and cannabis legal and policy expertise,” said Executive Director Will Tilburg. “The State is better off from her service, as are the patients of Maryland. I wish her the very best and thank her for her dedication and friendship throughout the growth and expansion of our program.”

With the passage of Question 4, which legalizes the possession and use of cannabis for individuals 21 years or older beginning July 1, regulation of medical cannabis will transition from the Medical Cannabis Commission to the Alcohol and Tobacco in 2023. Dr. C. Obi Onyewu, MD, the Commission’s vice chair, will succeed Commissioner Randolph and serve as acting chair while the program transitions to the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. Dr. Onyewu has
served on the Commission since 2019 and has led the Commission’s budget and finance committee since 2020. He also serves on the Commission’s Compliance and Executive committees. Dr. Onyewu is a board-certified pain medicine specialist and former certifying provider who was originally appointed to the Commission to represent the interests of licensed physicians in Maryland. 

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