Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission member Jeff Woolford resigned from the regulatory body on Feb. 23, the commission announced on Thursday, after Maryland gubernatorial candidate Kelly Schulz tapped Woolford this week to campaign as her running mate.
Woolford has served in a number of capacities in the administration of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, most recently as the chief medical officer of the state’s Department of Health after serving briefly as the chief of staff of the Department of Human Services. He became the health department’s designee to the cannabis commission only in October of 2021.
Commissioner Philip Cogan said Thursday that the body expects Hogan to appoint a replacement to the 13-member group within 1 to 2 weeks. Commissioners typically serve staggered four-year terms.
“It is a tremendous honor to be part of this ticket and to run alongside Kelly Schulz as we continue to work toward a brighter future for all Marylanders,” Woolford said this week. Members of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission did not comment further on his departure.
Woolford has never previously run for political office. He and Schulz will run in the Republican primary against Del. Daniel Cox, whom former president Donald Trump recently endorsed. It’s unclear to what extent Woolford’s background in health policy will inform the campaign; Schultz said this week their campaign will focus chiefly on crime, education, and the economy.
The vacancy comes as Maryland weighs multiple bills to legalize and regulate the recreational use of cannabis in the state, which currently only allows medical use of the drug.