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Editor’s note: this article was written by LJ Dawson for The Outlaw Report, and has been republished with permission.
Maryland is the most recent victim of a California lawyer and cannabis entrepreneur’s serial suing of state cannabis social equity programs.
Jeffrey Jensen filed a lawsuit on behalf of his wife Justyna Jensen, both of whom live in Pasadena, California. Jensen claims that the Maryland Cannabis Administration’s requirement of state residency to qualify for social equity is unconstitutional.
Jensen is using the dormant commerce clause of the constitution to allege that Maryland is discriminating against Justyna because she is an out-of-state resident. Though her university met the requirements for social equity applicants with 40% of the individuals qualifying to receive a Pell Grant, she was denied because the university was in California not Maryland.
MCA has until Feb. 20, 2024 to file a response in court to the lawsuit. Jensen has used the dormant commerce clause to file lawsuits elsewhere.
His Maryland case is one of at least six lawsuits he filed in the last two years in four states. He filed suits under similar allegations in California, Washington and New York.
His first lawsuit in New York was settled out of court, and he successfully secured a license in his settlement. But not before causing a months-long injunction or halt of licensing in 2022. This pause caused an already beleaguered New York market to lose even more valuable time in its attempt to launch.
Early this February, a federal New York judge rejected Jensen’s second case and plea for another licensing injunction. She claimed that the public interest of letting state-legal cannabis businesses launch overshadowed the lawsuit’s concerns.
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