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Illinois-based company gets Md. license to grow, process medical marijuana in Carroll County

Former Chicago lawyer Steve Weisman is chief executive of Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness, LLC, which was state licenses to grow and process medical cannabis in Carroll County, Md.

State officials revealed Monday the companies across Maryland that will have the chance to get state's medical cannabis industry off the ground, including one granted a license to grow and process marijuana in Carroll County.

The state's medical cannabis commission announced Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC was awarded preliminary approval for one of 15 licenses to grow cannabis and one of 15 licenses to process it.


A Washington Post analysis of applicants for the licenses indicates the CEO of Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness is Steve Weisman, of Illinois.

Weisman, 30, is a former Chicago attorney who is now chief executive of Windy City Cannabis Club, which has been licensed to sell medical marijuana in four Illinois towns, according to a Chicago Tribune article published last July.


"I'm a businessman," he told the Tribune. "I was never really a user of the stuff — I mean, I'm not going to lie to you, I've been to Colorado, I've been to Amsterdam. But when I left the law to return to business school, I became interested in the business model. I saw what the margins were. When the opportunity came up, we were able to make it work."

No one answered a phone call from the Carroll County Times to a number listed for Windy City Cannabis Club, which according to its website is closed on Mondays, seeking comment from Weisman. Another number for Weisman could not immediately be located.

The Maryland licenses for processors were up for grabs as the state moves forward with its fledgling industry. Other companies that received preliminary approval to grow medical cannabis are:

Curio Cultivation of Baltimore County

Doctors Orders Maryland of Dorchester County

Forward Gro of Anne Arundel County

Freestate Wellness of Howard County

Greenleaf Medical of Frederick County


Grow West MD of Garrett County

Harvest of Maryland of Washington County

HMS Health of Frederick County

Holistic Industries of Prince George's County

Kind Therapeutics USA of Washington County

MaryMed of Dorchester County


Shore Natural RX of Worcester County

SunMed Growers of Cecil County; and

Temescal Wellness of MD of Baltimore City.

Companies that received preliminary approval to process medical cannabis are:

AFS Maryland of Wicomico County

Blair Wellness Center of Worcester County


Chesapeake Alternatives of Queen Anne's County

Curio Manufacturing of Baltimore County

Doctors Orders Maryland of Dorchester County

FGM Processing of Charles County

Holistic Industries of Prince George's County

Kind Therapeutics USA of Washington County


Pharmaculture Corporation of Allegany County

Pro Green Medical of Frederick County

Rosebud Organics of Montgomery County

Seven Points Agro-Therapeutics of Prince George's County and

Temescal Wellness of Maryland of Baltimore City.

Doctors Orders is affiliated with Del. Dan Morhaim a Baltimore County Democrat and doctor who is a leading advocate of medical cannabis in the General Assembly.

Morhaim has not been paid by the company but is listed as its medical director. He acknowledged recently that he could have done a better job disclosing his work with the company during the medical marijuana debate.


"I'm excited that we have a great number of outstanding companies willing to help sick people in Maryland," said Dr. Paul W. Davies, chairman of the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, in a statement.

The companies were selected Aug. 5, but their identities were not revealed publicly until Monday while state officials conducted initial background checks and reviewed financial records.

It still will be months before final approvals are granted, and patients won't be able to access the drug until at least next year.

Maryland lawmakers first passed a medical marijuana law in 2013, but adjusted it in the years since to help the industry get off the ground. The state's medical cannabis commission was flooded with applications.

The commission has not yet awarded preliminary licenses for up to 94 dispensaries across the state. More than 800 applications were submitted.

Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness has also applied for dispensary licenses in 25 senatorial districts in Maryland, including Districts 5 and 9, which include Carroll County.


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Towson University's Regional Economic Studies Institute reviewed the grower and processor applications, which were stripped of identifying information, ranking each of them.

The growers that were selected included 13 of 15 of the top-ranked applicants. Two applicants in the top group were bumped in favor of applicants ranked 20 and 21 in order to improve geographic diversity.

The companies announced Monday will now go through a second stage of review that includes further background checks and financial reviews.

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners has proposed restrictions to county zoning law on medical cannabis. The growing, processing and dispensing of cannabis for medical use would be restricted to industrial zones, under the proposed amendments. If the changes are approved by the board, growing and processing would be considered conditional uses in industrial zones and dispensing would be an accessory use.

The conditional use designation would require growers and processors to seek Board of Zoning Appeals approval before they begin operating in the county. As an accessory use, dispensaries would have to be attached to a grower or processor, meaning the dispenser would have to also operate a growing or processing facility or else partner with a licensed grower or processor to use space at that site.

The commissioners are scheduled to discuss a possible to change to switch the conditional use designation for growers and processors to principal permitted use Aug. 25.


Carroll County Times reporters Wayne Carter, Jon Kelvey and Heather Norris, and Baltimore Sun reporters Pamela Wood and Erin Cox contributed to this article.