Maryland regulators are seeking advice from state ethics officials after Tiffany Randolph, chairwoman of Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Regulatory Board, took a job in April at a cannabis law firm.
Randolph, an attorney, works as a personal injury and medical malpractice attorney at Shulman Rogers, a Potomac-based law firm that also advises Maryland cannabis companies on mergers, tax compliance, capital raising and more. yet, according to the firm’s website.
Since 2017, Randolph has served on the board of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, which sets rules and approves mergers in the state’s tightly regulated cannabis industry. Board members are unpaid positions and members hold full-time jobs outside of the cannabis industry.
Randolph became interim chairman in January after former chairman Brian Lopez, an executive at Osprey Property Co., resigned. On April 25, Governor Larry Hogan officially named Randolph president.
The Baltimore Sun contacted Randolph, who did not respond.
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Instead, Chase Cook, spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health, responded by email. The state health department is the agency above the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
According to Cook, Randolph began working April 18 at Shulman Rogers, where “an ethical wall has been created separating her from the practice of cannabis, her attorneys, and her clients and potential clients.”
“Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission records indicate that Tiffany [Randolph] has not worked on any matter relating to a Shulman Rogers client since her job change,” Cook wrote. “The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and Tiffany are also seeking advice from the State Ethics Commission as to any further action that may be necessary or recommended.”
As interim chairman, Randolph presided over a decision in April that eased restrictions on mergers between certain cannabis companies.
Previously, companies and individuals were prohibited from owning part of more than one grower, processor or four dispensaries. This appeared to prevent companies with overlapping investors from entering the Maryland market. A new rule allows such mergers as long as investors do not hold significant stakes in the companies.
State lawmakers considered a bill this session that would have similarly relaxed those restrictions, but it failed to become law.
On its website, Shulman Rogers claims to have facilitated several cannabis industry mergers, including a $240 million deal involving a Maryland-based multi-state operator and a $5 million deal between two Maryland dispensaries. .