Doctors and patients show strong interest in medical marijuana

Medical MarijuanaMany thousands of marijuana plants began growing in the last two weeks in Maryland, as the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission licensed eight more growers, to join the one licensed back in May.

Because the growers were not allowed to begin planting until they were fully licensed and the plants have a three-month or slightly longer growing cycle, the state is not likely to have substantial amounts of medical marijuana product available until November, as previously reported, or even December.

MMCC also licensed four processors on Aug. 14. They work as “middlemen” between growers and dispensaries and create products for administering and ingesting cannabis materials.

Forward Gro in the Baltimore area, the grower licensed in May, declined to say whether it had begun crops back then or waited until processors and dispensaries were available for its output. “Forward Gro is working diligently to get its first product to market,” said spokesperson Vicki Bendure of Bendure Communications. “Timing on processing and distribution is still to be determined.”

As of Aug. 22, the state still had only one fully-licensed dispensary: Wellness Solutions in Frederick.


Bethesda proves to be “Ground Zero” for hotel businesses

Bethesda is one of the top places in the country for companies on both the ownership and management sides of the hotel business.

J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., CEO of Marriott International Inc. from 1972 to 2011 and still executive chairman, led the lodging industry’s separation of management and ownership functions for larger, higher-end properties. Until the 1980s, hotel owners in all price ranges generally managed their own properties, and chains had either central ownership or franchising deals holding them together.

Marriott concentrated on the management side of the business, developing the powerful marketing synergies of nationwide and worldwide hotel brands, as well as expertise and cost savings in hotel operations.


Council and businesses consider innovation to bring in the jobs

Founders of successful Montgomery County businesses discussed why they’re in the County and how they thought it can maintain the inflow of innovative businesses and jobs in a June 20 learning session with all nine County Council members.

David Petr, CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, who organized the event, said the many key components of an attractive package for innovative businesses include: (1) a talented workforce; (2) good real estate space in which to locate; (3) capital access through banking and venture capital; (4) good transportation within the jurisdiction and to the rest of the country and the world; (5) clusters of expertise in particular businesses; (6) good local education systems, both K-12 and university; (7) an effective workforce development program; (8) openness to change and innovation; (9) nurturing small businesses and incubator programs in fields with special promise; (10) and a good community in which to live.

“We crush Fairfax County” on standards such as place to live, education systems, work-life balance and traffic, said Tien Wong, founder/CEO of Opus8 in Chevy Chase, a statement that brought smiles and support from Council members.