NEW RX POT PANELISTS: Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday made 10 appointments to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, filling vacant positions and replacing six commissioners whose terms had expired, Luke Broadwater of the Sun is reporting.
- The appointees include a toxicologist, a pharmacist, a county sheriff and a county state’s attorney. Hogan also doubled the number of minority commissioners from two to four. John T. Gontrum, an assistant comptroller in the state comptroller’s office, was reappointed, reports Ovetta Wiggins for the Post.
- Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith will serve on the commission, Kelsi Loos reports for the Frederick News Post. Smith said he was hesitant to accept at first. “I had reservations about joining the commission because I have reservations about medical cannabis,” he said. “I agreed to serve at their request.”
BUZZ ABOUT RX POT DISPENSARY: Kate Masters of the Frederick News Post writes about Maryland’s first licensed medical marijuana dispensary. It is located in Frederick County. Wellness Solutions is already accepting patient referrals and pre-orders, according to founder Mike Kline, though cannabis isn’t expected to be available in the state until September or later.
MD PHARMACY SCHOOL PREPS FOR RX POT: The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will begin offering training to prepare prospective workers for the medical marijuana industry, Meredith Cohn of the Sun writes. The move puts the Baltimore school in league with few other established universities and colleges, including the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, seeking to bring educational standards to a growing national industry that grapples with evolving science and uncertain legal standing.
DRUG GROUP SUES STATE: A generic-drug trade group is suing Maryland over a price-gouging law that is set to go into effect in October, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports. In a federal lawsuit filed Thursday against state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and Dennis Schrader, the secretary of the state Department of Health, the Association for Accessible Medicines asked the U.S. District Court of Maryland in Greenbelt for an injunction to block the law, which it argues is unconstitutional.
- Chip Davis of the association said companies faced with changing market conditions may decide to stop manufacturing a medicine altogether rather than risk adjusting prices and face litigation from the state. And because manufacturers’ sales to wholesalers take place outside of Maryland, Davis argued the law effectively controls drug pricing for the entire country, Erin Cox of the Sun report.
- House Bill 631, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly with bipartisan support and veto-proof majorities, became law in June without the signature of Gov. Larry Hogan, who expressed concerns about the legal questions raised by the bill, reports Heather Cobun for the Daily Record.
FEWER PAINKILLERS BUT STILL TOO MANY: Meredith Cohn of the Sun writes that fewer opioid painkillers are being prescribed to patients in half of U.S. counties, including most in Maryland, in recent years, but the amount remains three times what it was in 1999, according to new figures released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FROSH JOINS SUIT AGAINST ED DEPT: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined 17 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit to force the Department of Education to enforce the Borrower Defense Rule, Tim Curtis of the Daily Record writes. That rule would make it easier for students who attend for-profit colleges using federal loans to have that debt forgiven if they can prove the school defrauded them.
STATE SEEKS TO JOIN PESTICIDE SUIT: Several states — including Maryland — are seeking to join a legal challenge to a Trump administration decision to keep a widely used pesticide on the market despite studies showing it can harm children’s brains, Michael Biesecker of the AP reports. Led by New York, the coalition filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in a legal fight over the continued spraying of chlorpyrifos on food. Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia are also seeking to join the suit pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
McMILLAN DEFENDS SELF: In an op ed piece in the Annapolis Capital, Del. Herb McMillan writes that Michael Collins’ column “McMillan’s the joker in District 30 deck” (June 9) “is full of deliberate lies, lies of omission, half-truths and personal attacks it’s nearly impossible to shoot them all down without exceeding The Capital’s 650 word limit.”
HARRIS ISSUES FUNDING THREAT: As the Trump administration attempts to wrestle voter information from state governments for its elections integrity panel, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, an unshakable Trump ally in the Republican-controlled House, is threatening to introduce legislation that would withhold federal funds from states that refuse to turn over voter data, blogs Ryan Miner in his Miner Detail website.
- The Trump administration told a federal judge on Thursday that it plans to keep voter roll data it has requested from all 50 states and the District on White House computers under the direction of a member of Vice President Pence’s staff, Spencer S. Hsu reports in the Post.
SCIENTIST RUNS FOR DELEGATE: A Rockville City Council member is preparing to take on three incumbent candidates in a run for a District 17 delegate seat, Andrew Metcalf writes for Bethesda Beat. Democrat Julie Palakovich Carr announced Thursday she will run for a state house position in 2018. Palakovich Carr has a master’s degree in biology and works at the American Institute of Biological Sciences, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that promotes policy making grounded in science.
MOSSBURG MAKES A COMEBACK: Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters profiles the life, hard times and comeback of Mathew Mossburg. Mossburg was a prince of Annapolis – a young, ambitious, scrappy member of the Maryland House of Delegates in the mid 1990s, gregarious and popular with his colleagues, serious about policy and savvy about politics. He moved through town like a Pied Piper, a guitar often slung across his shoulder, rapturous young staffers in his wake. And yet, from the minute Mossburg arrived in Annapolis, there were signs of trouble.
HOGAN VISITS ROSEWOOD: Gov. Larry Hogan visited Stevenson University in Owings Mills Thursday to mark the planned transfer of the state-owned Rosewood Center property to the growing school. “It’s been a long time coming,” Hogan told Stevenson employees and students who gathered on campus to celebrate the deal, which will nearly double the university’s acreage, Alison Knezevich of the Sun reports.
SMITH ISLAND’s TRANSITIONS: In MarylandReporter, Rona Kobell of the Bay Journal writes about Smith Island and the transitions it has and is going through, a shrinking island with a shrinking population and a changing fishing and crabbing industry, and a new pastor to oversee it.
HOGAN OFFERS HELP TO CITY: Erin Cox and Michael Brice-Saddler report that with the number of homicides in Baltimore rising at a staggering rate, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he will meet with Mayor Catherine Pugh to discuss how the state could help. The governor blamed the heroin trade and lax gun-crime sentencing for driving violence that has killed 180 people in the city this year. The number dead through June was the most since 1992, when 100,000 more people lived in Baltimore.