Maryland Lawmaker Says He Should Have Revealed Ties to Cannabis Industry
A Maryland lawmaker says he wished he had been more transparent about his business connection to the cannabis industry prior to championing the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that state Delegate Dan K. Morhaim is the clinical director for a company called Doctor's Orders, which is seeking a license from the state to dispense medical marijuana. Morhaim, a Democrat from Baltimore County, is also an emergency room doctor. From the Post:
Morhaim, a doctor who fought for more than a decade for the state to legalize pot for medical use, cleared his involvement with Doctor’s Orders with state ethics officials. But he never said publicly that he was part of a team applying for a license, despite repeated questions from The Post and even as he shepherded legislation this year to expand the types of medical professionals who could recommend cannabis. He also testified before the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission about how to administer the program.
Morhaim told the Baltimore Sun that his affiliation with didn’t violate any ethics rules. Still, he says he should have been more open about the connection:
"In hindsight," Morhaim told The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday, he should have disclosed the extent of his relationship with Doctor's Orders LLC, "if I knew a better way to do it."
He said his affiliation with the company is not a conflict of interest and he followed all disclosure rules.
"In each moment, as I went, I followed all the rules the best that I knew how," he said. "At that time, it was the only way."
The state commission will award 15 licenses for growing operations as soon as next month and, later, up to 94 dispensary licenses.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.
Header photo via the Chesapeake Climate Action Network