Pubdate: Thu, 17 Dec 2015
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2015 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Darrell Carrington


On behalf of the Maryland Cannabis Industry Association, I would like 
thank to Hannah Byron for her leadership of the Natalie M. LaPrade 
Medical Cannabis Commission ("Byron to resign as head of Maryland 
cannabis commission," Dec. 2). What is truly remarkable are the 
strides the Maryland program has made under her leadership over the last year.

Many people do not realize that the first medical cannabis bill was 
introduced in Maryland in 1980 by former state delegate and current 
Baltimore County Councilman Wade Kach. The journey for Maryland 
patients began in 1980, but the momentum for getting medicine into 
the hands of patients really gathered steam in 2014, when Dels. Dan 
Morhaim and Cheryl Glenn and Sens. Jamie Raskin and Bobby Zirkin won 
the support of 177 of Maryland's 188 legislators to approve this 
sensible, compassionate legislation.

Passing legislation is one thing, but standing up regulations and 
creating a program out of thin air is another matter altogether. That 
is where Hannah really shined. She could take the intent of the 
General Assembly and join that with practical applications in the real world.

We know the amazing strides our program has made under her leadership 
and we want her to stay forever. However, when you see talent like 
this, you know you are fortunate to spend whatever time you can with 
that person and know that you are better for that experience. Hannah 
Byron has done that for a lot of us, and we are eternally grateful 
for her hard work and dedication. We wish her the best.

Darrell Carrington The writer is executive director of the Maryland 
Cannabis Industry Association.
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