About Us

The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission develops policies, procedures, and regulations to implement programs that ensure medical cannabis is available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner. The Commission oversees all licensing, registration, inspection, and testing measures pertaining to Maryland’s medical cannabis program and provides relevant program information to patients, physicians, growers, dispensers, processors, testing laboratories and caregivers.


Executive Staff

Executive Director
Joy A. Strand

Rick Durkee

Director of Enforcement and Compliance
David Kloos

Director of Administration
Mary Jo Mather

Director of Program Analytics (METRC)
Nicole Felder

Deputy Director/Director of Laboratory Compliance
Lori Dodson

Regional Enforcement and Compliance Investigative Supervisors

Northern Region


Regional Enforcement and Compliance Supervisor

Baltimore County
Howard County
Harford County
Carroll County
Cecil County

Southern Region


Regional Enforcement and Compliance Supervisor
Garrett Keene

Baltimore City
Prince George’s County
Charles County
St. Mary’s County
Calvert County

Eastern Region


Regional Enforcement and Compliance Supervisor

Anne Arundel County
Kent County
Queen Anne County
Caroline County
Talbot County
Dorchester County
Wicomico County
Worchester County
Somerset County

Western Region


Regional Enforcement and Compliance Supervisor
Mark Rodeheaver

Garrett County
Allegany County
Washington County
Frederick County
Montgomery County



There are currently 15 members serving on the Commission.


Brian P. Lopez (Chairman), is a partner and the Executive Vice President for Osprey Property Company, where he oversees the company’s multi-family and affordable housing portfolio. Prior to joining Osprey Property Company, he was a loan officer for AGM Financial Services, Inc., and a project manager for Safeway, Inc. Lopez received his Master’s in Real Estate Development from Johns Hopkins University. Lopez fills a vacancy for a member of the public or a patient who supports medical cannabis position on the Commission.
Ehsan Abdeshahian, M.D., currently serves as a staff physician with specialties in pain and sports medicine for Advanced Pain Management Specialists. Dr. Abdeshahian received his medical degree from St. George’s University in Grenada, Spain, and completed his residency at the State University of New York – Downstate University Hospital. Dr. Abdeshahian fills one of the three licensed physician positions on the Commission.
Paul W. Davies, M.D., is the founding partner and president of KURE Pain Management, a large and growing pain management practice with eight locations in Maryland. He is board certified in interventional pain management and completed his pain fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has over ten years’ experience in treating patients in pain and has treated thousands of patients during that period. He earned his medical degree from the University of Manchester, England and has completed residencies at the University of Pittsburgh, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania Hospital. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Alvin W. Davis, M.D., currently serves as a partner at the Cumberland Anesthesia and Pain Management Associates, where he specializes in cardiac/thoracic anesthesia. He received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Davis fills one of the three licensed physician positions on the Commission.
Jeffrey R. Gahler is the Harford County Sheriff, a position he has held since 2014. Prior to being elected sheriff, he served 28 years with the Maryland State Police where grew from a cadet to a captain. Gahler received his Master’s of Science in Management from Johns Hopkins University. Sheriff Gahler fills the law enforcement representative position on the Commission.
John Gontrum, Esq., has been with the Comptroller of Maryland since 2011, and serving as the Assistant Comptroller since May of 2015. In that position he is the liaison between the Office of the Comptroller and the Maryland Board of Public Works which, among its responsibilities, controls state procurement policy, adopts procurement regulations, approves most contracts entered into by the state exceeding $200,000, approves the expenditure of all general obligation bonds, and approves the expenditure of funds for capital improvements. Mr. Gontrum previously served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of the Comptroller, representing the agency before the Maryland General Assembly. Mr. Gontrum received a B.A. from Gettysburg College and a J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Charles P. LoDico, M.S., F-ABFT, is currently a senior chemist/toxicologist for the Department of Health and Human Services. He received his Master’s in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Long Island University, School of Pharmacy. LoDico, who has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, was nominated by the University of Maryland Medical Center. His appointment fills a vacancy for a scientist with experience in the science of cannabis and nominated by a state research institution on the Commission.
Jeanie Gilmor Marshall, RN, BSN, is a registered nurse (RN) at Gilchrist Hospice, caring for patients from admissions to end of life.  Previously, she worked as an oncology RN at Mercy Hospital on the Surgical Oncology floor.  Ms. Marshall received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Stevenson University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and holds a graduate Certification in PDD/Autism from Johns Hopkins Hospital. ​
Barry G. Pope is the Drug Rebate Manager and PBM Clinical Pharmacist for Conduent State Healthcare, LLC. He has been a registered pharmacist for 20 years, where he has experience servicing large Medicaid populations. Mr. Pope received his Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy from the Arnold and Marie Schwartz School of Pharmacy. Pope was recommended for this appointment by the Maryland Pharmacy Association, and fills a vacancy for a licensed pharmacist in the state on the Commission
James R. Pyles is the Director of Safety and Security for the Maryland Department of Health (MDH).  Mr. Pyles joined MDH after his retirement in 2015 as a 26-year veteran of the Maryland State Police (MSP).  He last served as Major and the Commander of the Northern Command - Criminal Enforcement Division, which included the Central, Northern and Western Commands and was comprised of nine counties spanning from Garrett to Cecil counties.  In this position, he oversaw all criminal and narcotics investigators and their work in the northern half of the state.  His areas of responsibilities while at MSP included auto theft, public corruption, insurance fraud, environmental crimes, gang unit, computer crimes unit, insurance fraud, child recovery, human trafficking, digital forensics laboratory, Maryland Center for Missing Children, Maryland State Apprehension Team, technical surveillance, and the Pro Active Criminal Enforcement Team.  Mr. Pyles holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Fairmont State University and a Master’s Degree in Management from Johns Hopkins University.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Allegany College of Maryland.​
Tiffany D. Randolph  is an attorney at the law firm Wharton Levin Ehrmantraut & Klein in Annapolis, Maryland. Her practice concentrates on the defense of medical malpractice claims. She defends local physicians, hospitals and healthcare institutions at the trial level in cases alleging medical malpractice negligence. Ms. Randolph’s litigation experience involves fact and expert discovery, motions practice, defending and deposing expert witnesses, and bench and jury trials in the Maryland District and Circuit Courts. Ms. Randolph received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. She fills the vacancy for a licensed attorney in the state on the Commission.
Rachel Rhodes is the Horticulture Associate Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator for the University of Maryland Extension – Queen Anne’s County, where she provides horticultural and environmental education classes. Rhodes received her Master’s of Environmental Science from Wesley College. Rhodes fills the representative of the University of Maryland Extension position on the Commission.
Nancy Rosen-Cohen, Ph.D., is an executive management professional with substantial experience in health care reform and corporate development. Dr. Rosen-Cohen is the Executive Director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. She was appointed to the Governor’s Medical Marijuana Model Program Workgroup in 2011. This group was responsible for developing a model program for facilitating patient access to marijuana for medical purposes. Dr. Rosen-Cohen received a Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Butler University
Charles Smith III (Vice Chairman) has served as the State’s Attorney for Frederick County since 2007. Smith is also a member of the Frederick County Substance Abuse Council and is Chair of the State’s Attorneys’ Coordination Council. Smith received his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Smith fills the member of the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association position on the Commission.
Saundra Washington - Sandy O. Washington – Co-Founder and Executive Director of Lifestyles, Inc., Ms. Washington has been in the social service field for more than 42 years.  As the Executive Director, she oversees the organization’s programs which include Human Services, Health Services, Transportation, and Economic Development.  Her knowledge of organizational development allowed her to develop the Regional Alzheimer's office in Southern Maryland over 24 years ago, before establishing Lifestyles of Maryland.  Ms. Washington has received a number of gubernatorial appointments including the Judicial Nominating Committee.  She has also received several awards: Charles County Sheriff's Award; Charles County Commission for Women Trailblazer Award; the Salome Howard Award and an award for serving on the Charles County Commissioners' Nonprofits Grants Advisory Panel.​​​​​​​
Scott Welsh is the owner of Maryland Flower and Foliage, where he maintains 160,000 square feet of greenhouse space and 100,000 square feet of outdoor growing areas, manages the day-to-day operations, and works closely with local growers and farmers to produce cuttings, seedlings, and finished products for resale throughout the state. Welsh fills the position of an individual with experience in horticulture and recommended by the Department of Agriculture on the Commission.