- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

EASTON, Md. (AP) - A year after a state law was updated to allow commercial entities to grow and dispense medical marijuana, a group specializing in cultivating the product has unveiled plans to set up a medical marijuana growing facility in Easton.

On Monday, CBD Wellness Group made a presentation to the Easton town council during a special workshop session, The Star Democrat of Easton (http://bit.ly/1JnN2oa) reports.

John Pica Jr., a lawyer who represents CBD Wellness Group and a former Maryland lawmaker, said the state will grant up to 15 medical marijuana growing licenses, and CBD plans to apply for one.

He also emphasized the distinction between growing marijuana and dispensing it.

“I think it’s very important to note that we are not applying for a dispensary license here in Easton,” Pica said. “There will be no contact with medical cannabis with anyone in the town unless they are an employee of the facility.”

Pica said the marijuana CBD Wellness Group plans to grow isn’t the same marijuana bought illegally on the street and through the black market. He said medical cannabis is designed and grown to have lower psychoactive contents and higher amounts of cannabidiol, the ingredient he says produces the medical benefits.

Sharon Huseman, executive director of Talbot Partnership, a substance abuse prevention organization, disputes some of Pica’s claims.

Huseman said the proposed facility lends to the idea that marijuana is harmless, a growing national trend with younger people.

“For every study they have about medical marijuana being beneficial to glaucoma patients and epilepsy in children, there are studies that have countered that,” Huseman said.

CBD Wellness Group plans to hire about 100 people for its proposed Easton facility.

Council President John Ford said the decision does not require public comment, but citizens can contact their councilman or the town office to voice their opinions.

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Information from: The Star Democrat of Easton, Md., http://www.stardem.com

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