#MACoCon Panelists Discuss “Cannabusiness” in Maryland

During the 2017 MACo Summer Conference panel “The Green Rush? Cannabusiness in Maryland Counties” attendees learned about the growing “cannabusiness” industry, the challenges and opportunities it presents, and what counties need to know moving forward.’

Shad Ewart discusses how Maryland’s medical cannabis indusrry will create a host of ancillary jobs

Being a new – and unique – enterprise, many entrepreneurs struggle with how to best leverage this emerging industry…and counties struggle with how to fit these “cannabis-adjacent” businesses into their communities, economies, and local policies.

Shad Ewart, Professor, Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Emerging Markets: Marijuana Legalization, Anne Arundel Community College, began the session by discussing Maryland’s medical cannabis program. Mr. Ewart talked about how the medical cannabis industry continues to advance and legitimize, and how mainstream professionals are increasingly interested in economizing on this opportunity. As part of his presentation, Mr. Ewart described the ancillary businesses within the medical cannabis industry. According to Mr. Ewart,  “the people who profited from the Gold Rush were not the ones mining for gold, but the people who sold them the picks and shovels.”

According to Darren H. Weiss, Esq., Principal, Bethesda Office, Offit Kurman, because the medical cannabis industry is a new – and unique – enterprise, many entrepreneurs struggle with how to best leverage this emerging industry… and counties struggle with how to fit these “cannabis-adjacent” businesses into their communities, economies, and local policies. Mr. Weiss discussed some of the legal challenges associated with medical cannabis in Maryland, explained how growers and dispensaries become licensed to operate in Maryland, and how they will operate in local communities.

Gail Rand, CFO, Patient Advocate, ForwardGro, closed the session by discussing her advocacy efforts for medical cannabis in Maryland. ForwardGro is licensed to grow medical cannabis and has begun operations in Anne Arundel County. Mrs. Rand offered insight into the medical cannabis licensing process from an applicant’s point of view.

The session was moderated by Senator Brian Feldman and was held on Thursday, August 17, 2017.

MACo’s Weekly County News & Notes… from Twitter

The social media site Twitter has become a fast-moving setting for news, information, and advocacy on public affairs. We welcome followers of MACo’s own Twitter feed for updates from the Conduit Street blog and other MACo hot topics, and often use Twitter to reach our own audience, and to hear from others following the same issues as county leaders.

Here are some tweets that caught our eye this week:

Follow MACo
Follow Executive Director Michael Sanderson
Follow NACo
See Tweets on #mdpolitics

Prince George’s Announces 2018 Domestic Violence Grant Program

The Prince George’s County Council has announced an FY 2018 appropriation of $500,000 to support the Council’s Domestic Violence Grant Program.

According to a press release,

The grant program is a funding resource for programs that serve the housing, counseling, and advocacy needs of County residents who are victims of domestic violence. The program also supports prevention activities through a coordinated and collaborative community response to domestic violence in Prince George’s County.

The FY 18 Prince George’s County Council Domestic Violence Grant Program funds are available to nonprofit organizations through a review and evaluation process for all applicants.

“This County Council initiative is the start of a continuing offensive against the tragedy of domestic violence. We reaffirm our commitment to joining the efforts of our entire community to comprehensively address the scourge of domestic violence…TOGETHER.” – Council Chairman Derrick Leon Davis

Read the full Prince George’s County press release for more information.

Harford County Receives $570K State Grant to Assist Families in Need

The state of Maryland has awarded a total of $570,994 to Harford County’s Local Management Board to fund child and family focused programs in fiscal year 2018.

According to a press release,

The Local Management Board (LMB) is a grant-funded organization within the county’s Office of Children, Youth and Families, under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. This year’s total includes a competitive grant award of $88,000, which the LMB will use for new programs to reduce childhood hunger, empower families to escape poverty and diminish the impact of parental incarceration on children in Harford County. The funding was announced on May 31, 2017 by the Maryland’s Children’s Cabinet, through the Governor’s Office for Children as part of $18 million in statewide grant awards to Maryland’s Local Management Boards.

Specifically, this year’s total grant funding will allow the LMB to offer the following new programs in Harford County:

“Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World” is an educational program for low income families that addresses the causes of poverty.

“Parenting Inside Out (PIO)” is an evidence-based parenting skills training program for families affected by parental incarceration.

“Project S.E.E.K. (Services to Empower and Enable Kids)” is a program aimed at reducing intergenerational incarceration. The program addresses the risk and protective factors associated with delinquency and criminal behavior at both the individual and family levels.

“Reducing Childhood Hunger” helps families become more self-sufficient, food-secure, and economically stable. Rather than offering pre-packaged/pre-weighed food, the program creates a food pantry where clients can shop for their own groceries using a point system.

Formed in 1994, Harford County’s Local Management Board brings together local child-serving agencies; local child providers; clients of services; families, and other community representatives to address the critical needs of and recommends priorities for the County.

Read the full Harford County press release for more information.

Second Annual “Keeping History Above Water” Conference Coming to Annapolis

Register today for the second annual “Keeping History Above Water” Conference, October 29- November 1, 2017, in Annapolis, Maryland. The conference, hosted and organized by the Newport Restoration Foundation and City of Annapolis Weather It Together team, will feature expert speakers and a vendor exhibit area to showcase products, services, and resources to address rising tides. APA credits are available to registered attendees!

Guest speakers include:

Dr. William Sweet, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

James B. Balocki, United States Navy

Phil Dyke, UK National Trust

Jeff Goodell, Author of “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Reshaping of the Civilized World,” and Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone

Jaap Van Der Salm, H+N+S Landscape Architects, The Netherlands

Kate Gordon, Paulson Institute

Dr. David Guggenheim, Ocean Doctor

Marcus Moench, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition International

Visit the event website to see the full day-by-day schedule and a full list of speakers.

Howard County Schools Extends Summer Lunch Program

Howard County schools are extending the summer lunch program at Stevens Forest Elementary School in Columbia because of high attendance and a need for services, county officials said Friday.

According to The Columbia Flier,

The program was originally slated to end Friday. The three other locations for the program — Harper’s Choice Middle School, Murray Hill Middle School and Thomas Viaduct Middle School — are closed for the summer.

Locations for the program are based in part on the percentage of students who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. Almost 70 percent of students at Stevens Forest receive free or reduced-price lunches, according to data from the county school system.

The program, which began only last year, is flourishing. According to Howard County officials, the number of meals served this year is expected to surpass the 50,000 meals served last year.

Read the full article for more information.

Anne Arundel Conducts In-Service Dementia Awareness Training

The Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities and the Anne Arundel County Police Department announced the successful conclusion of the 2017 in-service dementia awareness training of 691 members of the force. This collaboration was recognized at an event at the Department of Aging and Disabilities. During the event, training staff members were presented police citations in recognition of their hard work and dedication.

According to a press release,

Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease. There are currently more than 5 million Americans living with the disease. By 2050, this could increase to more than 16 million.

The Department of Aging and Disabilities provided the training Communicating Through Behaviors with the Virtual Dementia Tour to the Anne Arundel County Police Department. This is a scientifically proven method of building a greater understanding of dementia through the use of patented sensory tools and instruction. This is an up-close, hands-on experience that provides critical insight to those caring for dementia. This tour is an eye-opening experience that proves how difficult the disease can be for the patients and caregivers alike.

“This is yet another example of how our county agencies are collaborating toimprove service to the public while enhancing public safety,” said County Executive Steve Schuh.

Director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, Pamela Jordan, stated, “It is so important that we support our first responders to give them the tools they need to understand this disease. The likelihood that first responders will encounter this in field is very high.”

For information call the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities at 410-222-4257 or go online to http://www.aacounty.org/aging. TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1. All materials are available in an alternative format upon request.

Learn how counties are collaborating with stakeholders to provide citizens with resources to assess, treat, and manage cognitive impairment at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference session “Smoothing the Rough Road: Addressing Dementia Challenges” on Friday, August 18, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Smoothing the Rough Road: Addressing Dementia Challenges at #MACoCon

Dementia is more than just “forgetfulness,” as many people often believe. Memory problems are certainly one element of dementia, but communication, emotional, and behavioral issues are often also present. Caregivers are often surprised when their loved one suddenly experiences problems in one of these areas, especially if the only early symptoms were limited to problems with memory. At this year’s annual MACo Summer Conference, learn how counties are collaborating with stakeholders to provide citizens with resources to assess, treat, and manage cognitive impairment.

Smoothing the Rough Road: Addressing Dementia Challenges

Description: Local governments play a key role in ensuring communities are vibrant, inclusive, and supportive of all citizens. As we begin to see a rise in the number of dementia cases due to our aging population, it is crucial for local governments to work in collaboration with stakeholders to mitigate pressure on services and develop new and innovative service systems. In this session, panelists will discuss the impacts of dementia, the challenges facing family caregivers and those with a dementia diagnosis, and the practical actions government, individuals, businesses, and community stakeholders can take to improve the day-to-day well-being of residents.

Speakers:

  • Jay Kenney, Chief, Aging and Disability Services, Montgomery County
  • Gloria Lawlah, Former Maryland Secretary of Aging and Dementia Friendly Lead, Prince Georges County
  • Celene Steckel, Bureau Chief of Aging and Disabilities, Carroll County
  • Michael Buckley, Vice President, Public Affairs, BrightFocus Foundation
  • Nora Super, Chief of Programs and Services, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Moderator: Rushern L. Baker, County Executive, Prince George’s County

Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2017; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

CareFirst Settles Ongoing Reimbursement Dispute with Anne Arundel Medical Center

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has resolved a dispute with Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) after the Annapolis hospital threatened to terminate its contract with the medical insurance provider. In a joint statement released on Friday, officials from the hospital and the insurance provider said they have reached an agreement which will ensure no disruptions to care or coverage for CareFirst patients who receive treatment at AAMC.

According to The Baltimore Business Journal,

In a joint statement released Friday afternoon, AAMC and CareFirst said they signed a new three-year contract to be effective Sept. 1. They did not release details about the agreement but said there will be no disruption in care or coverage.

Without a contract in place, CareFirst members would not have received in-network discounts for certain medical services at AAMC. That means they would likely have had to pay higher prices for their care or find care elsewhere, with other in-network doctors. CareFirst has had contracts with AAMC for about 60 years. The health insurer is the largest in Maryland, with over 70 percent market share.

Read the full article for more information.

MACo’s Weekly County News & Notes… from Twitter

The social media site Twitter has become a fast-moving setting for news, information, and advocacy on public affairs. We welcome followers of MACo’s own Twitter feed for updates from the Conduit Street blog and other MACo hot topics, and often use Twitter to reach our own audience, and to hear from others following the same issues as county leaders.

Here are some tweets that caught our eye this week:

Follow MACo
Follow Executive Director Michael Sanderson
Follow NACo
See Tweets on #mdpolitics