Maryland’s highest court stops medical marijuana hearing

Maryland’s highest court on Friday intervened to stop a case that threatened to upend the medical marijuana industry.

The Court of Appeals blocked a Baltimore judge from holding a scheduled hearing about whether to put the entire cannabis program on hold. While the fledgling industry can move forward for now, its future is far from certain.

The underlying lawsuit still remains, and it seeks to throw out the process used to pick medical marijuana growers because the state did not consider racial diversity.

The high court issued a stay in the case “until further notice,” but did not reveal what issues it would consider.

The ruling came after lawyers representing 13 of 15 companies selected to cultivate marijuana asked the Court of Appeals to stop the hearing so they could have a voice in the process.

“Our clients played by the rules and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Alan Rifkin, an attorney for the growers. “They have a right to be heard.”

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