State Roundup, April 26, 2017

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RX POT STANDOFF: A medical marijuana company suing the state said Tuesday it would not drop its lawsuit unless it gets a license to grow the drug. But its CEO said the firm will no longer insist that a license for it be written into state law. Erin Cox reports for the Sun that insistence was at the heart of a standoff between General Assembly leaders, and the key reason Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch would not call lawmakers back to Annapolis for a special session to expand the medical marijuana industry.

MARIJUANA GREENHOUSE: A marijuana company is constructing a huge greenhouse in Anne Arundel County that spans one full acre and is expected to grow between 7,000 and 9,000 pounds of marijuana a year, John Rydell reports for WBFF-TV.

MORE MEDICAL EXAMINERS: The state medical examiner’s is to begin a search today for additional examiners to help handle a sustained surge in fatal overdoses from opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. Meredith Cohn of the Sun writes that faced with a overwhelming number of bodies needing an autopsy to determine the cause of death, examiners in Maryland have struggled to perform the procedures in a timely manner.

FIGHTING FOR CRAFT BEER: The end of a General Assembly session is often punctuated with a collective sigh of relief across Annapolis. Reporters get to relax, legislators get to go home and Main Street dwellers get their town back. For those in the Maryland craft beer community, however, the fight has just begun, writes Liz Murphy in an opinion piece for the Annapolis Capital.

PARENTAL RIGHTS FOR RAPISTS: It probably will shock many that uber-progressive Maryland is one of a handful of states in which rapists have parental rights over children born as a result of their crime, columnist Michael Collins writes for MarylandReporter.  It probably will shock them even more to know that, for the ninth time, a bill to deny parental rights to rapists in the legislature on its final day.

COST OF COOPERATING WITH FEDS: Nationally and in other Maryland counties, jurisdictions that have cooperated with the federal government when it comes to immigration enforcement have seen cases of blatant racial profiling. The editorial board of the Sun opines that while it agrees with those objections, it would add the most Baltimore County-like of all reasons to oppose the legislation: It would cost taxpayers money. You might assume that if a local government volunteers to help the feds perform a task that is clearly their job, like immigration enforcement, that the government in Washington would pick up the tab. You would be wrong.

GRASSO TO CHALLENGE DeGRANGE: Anne Arundel County Council chairman John Grasso (R) tells Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters that he plans to challenge state Sen. Ed DeGrange (D), a top Republican target, in 2018. Grasso, an unvarnished politician and energetic campaigner, may not formally announce his candidacy for several months, but he’s holding a fundraiser tomorrow night.

PEREZ TO SPEAK: Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez will be the featured speaker next month at the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee‘s celebration dinner, Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital writes.

MD ED BOARD ORDERS WA CO MEMBER REMOVED: State education officials on Tuesday ordered that Karen Harshman be removed from the Washington County Board of Education, CJ Lovelace of the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports. The Maryland State Board of Education’s decision upholds a recommendation by a state administrative law judge for Harshman’s removal on charges of misconduct and willful neglect of duty.

BA CO SCHOOLS VS POLITICS: The vice chair of the Baltimore County school board may have to choose between her role as a member of the Board of Education and her political activities, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Marisol Johnson, vice chair of the Baltimore County Board of Education, will likely have to choose between continuing in that position or giving up her seat on the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee and an expected run for the county council.

ROSENSTEIN CONFIRMED: Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein’s confirmation won broad, bipartisan support Tuesday in the Senate despite reservations from some Democrats concerned about the department’s handling of investigations into interactions between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from that matter, Rosenstein will have to decide whether to appoint a special prosecutor, report Justin Fenton and John Fritze for the Sun.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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