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Former top Maryland medical marijuana official joins cannabis company

Joy Strand, former executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, has joined Green Leaf Medical, a Frederick-based company that grows, processes and sells the drug.
Joy Strand, former executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, has joined Green Leaf Medical, a Frederick-based company that grows, processes and sells the drug. (Brennan Linsley / AP / AP)

The former top regulator of Maryland’s medical marijuana industry has joined a Frederick-based cannabis company as an executive vice president.

Joy Strand, who resigned as executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission this fall, now works for Green Leaf Medical, the company announced Thursday.

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She is responsible for coordinating the company’s government relations efforts in multiple states, said Kevin Goldberg, Green Leaf’s president and general counsel.

“She brings a wealth of knowledge about the cannabis industry and compliance,” Goldberg said. “We’re really looking forward to her input for all aspects of our operations.”

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Strand said she’s looking forward to learning about the company’s work as well as the nuances of the laws in the different states where Green Leaf operates.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity. I know I have a lot to offer, but I also know I will have a lot to learn,” she said.

Goldberg said Strand was hired a month ago.

She left the cannabis commission Oct. 1 after leading it for nearly two years.

Goldberg said he does not think his company, which also operates under the name gLeaf, will have an advantage in Maryland by having Strand as one of its executives.

“Frankly, if anything, in a situation like this, the commission would be more likely to heavily scrutinize us to make sure there isn’t anything improper going on,” he said.

Strand said she left the commission for personal reasons and the opportunity to join Green Leaf came “well after” her departure.

“I expect that any of the regulators will treat gLeaf the same as any other regulated company,” she said.

Green Leaf won licenses to grow and sell medical cannabis in Maryland, and later bought a processing operation.

The company also has licenses for growing, processing and selling the drug in Virginia; growing and processing it in Pennsylvania; a dispensary license in Ohio and an application pending for a license in New Jersey, Goldberg said.

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