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Left: Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. (NAACP Baltimore photo) Right: Customers in a Colorado marijuana dispensary. (AP photo)
Left: Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP. (NAACP Baltimore photo) Right: Customers in a Colorado marijuana dispensary. (AP photo)

Good week for Baltimore NAACP chapter; bad week for Md. marijuana commission

Things aren’t so bad for the local chapter of the NAACP. Sure, the Baltimore chapter suffered an embarrassing public-relations snafu in July when it boasted the city had landed the 2016 NAACP National Convention, and then had to eat its words.

As it turned out, Baltimore was not actually selected for the 2016 convention. But this week, the national association announced that Charm City will host the event in 2017, an honor last enjoyed in 2000.

“Needless to say, this is a big deal for Baltimore,” Tessa Hill-Aston, president of the city branch of the NAACP, said in a statement released to news media at that time. “Our city is the home of the National Headquarters and is rich in civil rights history. The entire city will roll out the red carpet to make the delegates feel at home and welcome. This will also be a great boost economically to the city.”

So, yes, a lot of people — including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, as well as this newspaper and other media outlets — jumped the gun. But we still get to have our cake; we just had to wait a few months to eat it.

On the other hand, the state’s medical marijuana commission still has very little to show for itself.

The commission has been working to draft regulations for the state’s newly approved medical marijuana industry, such as setting the fees on growers, dispensers, patients and prescribing physicians. The commission was expected to vote Tuesday on final regulations, but instead, it once again said it needed more time.

The rules were supposed to be written by mid-September.

To be fair, this is new territory for Maryland. There are many viewpoints to consider and many details to iron out. But medical marijuana advocates are not impressed with the apparent lack of urgency among the 15 commissioners.

About Alissa Gulin

Alissa Gulin covers health care, education and general business at The Daily Record.