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The Road Ahead for Maryland’s Cannabis Program

August 11, 2021 at 11:00 am EDT

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Wednesday, August 11th
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


The Road Ahead for Maryland’s Cannabis Program | Where are We Going From Here?
A Tour of ‘Tors: Views from A Regulator, Operator and (former) Legislator

Although Maryland’s 2021 legislative session has ended, people are still thinking about the possibilities for policy and legislative changes to Maryland’s cannabis program. Join Taylor Kasky (Director of Policy and Government Affairs for the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission), Venus Hemachandra (Co-Founder and Managing Director for Herbiculture) and Bobby Zirkin (former key member of Maryland’s Senate and House of Delegates) as they discuss:
  • What were the key provisions of last session’s HB 32 and SB 708 and why did these bills not pass?
  • What is the possibility of an adult use cannabis program being approved in 2022?
  • What are the key considerations for social equity initiatives in Maryland?
  • What policy, legislative and operational issues regarding Maryland’s cannabis industry need more attention?


Taylor Kasky
Director, Policy and Government Affairs at Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission

Taylor is the current Director of Policy and Government Affairs at Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). She has a demonstrated history of success in compliance, government relations, consulting and policy analysis across a wide range of subjects. Taylor possesses a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

Venus Hemachandra
Co-Founder and Managing Director at Herbiculture Inc

Venus Hemachandra is the co-founder and CEO of Herbiculture. Herbiculture is one of a very few minority and woman owned medical cannabis dispensaries in Maryland, with just recently receiving the pre-approvals to operate medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing operations in Maryland. Venus also plays an active role in the Maryland Medical Dispensary Association (MDMDA) where she currently co-chairs the diversity and inclusion initiative, DREAM. She has since joined the Board of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association and has been recognized as one of 10 key players in Maryland’s legal cannabis space by the Baltimore Business Journal.

Bobby Zirkin
Government Affairs Specialist at ZS Public Affairs

Bobby is the Founding Partner at ZS Public Affairs, a government relations firm representing businesses and professional athletes, and specializing in seeking consensus around complex issues for his clients. Bobby Zirkin is also an attorney and Senior Partner at Zirkin and Schmerling Law, a full service legal practice in Baltimore, Maryland. Bobby is a former member of the Maryland General Assembly, having served Maryland's 11th District for 21 years, 8 years in the House of Delegates and 13 years in the State Senate. Bobby was the Chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee for 5 years, and is best known for his aggressive advocacy for his constituents and his persistent commitment to bipartisan solutions to Maryland's biggest issues, which include criminal justice reform, medical marijuana and marijuana decriminalization.  


Jonathan Wachs

As a founder of Offit Kurman's Cannabis Law group, Jon has become a recognized resource on issues relating to the evolving relationship between cannabis law and intellectual property protection.  He has worked with many operators in the cannabis industry to navigate the rules and processes relating to specific state medical cannabis programs.  He is the co-facilitator of Offit Kurman’s Medical Cannabis Affinity Group, a dynamic speaker series featuring national thought leaders on operational issues affecting the cannabis industry.



Offit Kurman, a full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with offices throughout the East Coast and in Southern California, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. Founded in 1987, the firm’s 280+ attorneys counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice. Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration.



August 11, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
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