Charles County Economic Development Department staff and local business owners attended Economic Development Day at the Maryland General Assembly, an annual event held by the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA), on Wednesday, Jan. 24 in Annapolis, Maryland.
This annual event brings economic development professionals and Maryland businesses together with state senators and delegates to explore and discuss state legislation that could affect efforts to bring jobs and investment to the state of Maryland. Economic Development Department Director Darréll A. Brown and the economic development team lead a group of Charles County healthcare providers, specifically in the medical cannabis industries and others. Brown serves on the MEDA Public Policy Awareness Committee that organized the event.
“It was a great day and important opportunity for our business community and economic development,” said Brown.
Charles County’s Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, held a private meeting with the Charles County group, providing a briefing on the priorities of the Senate Finance Committee and for the county. Then businesses had the opportunity for a Q&A with him. At Brown’s request, Senator Middleton spoke to the statewide group at the MEDA luncheon panel where he took questions from economic development professionals from across the state. Joining him for that session was Delegate Kumar Barve of Montgomery County.
"It was a rare, unexpected opportunity for myself and others in my company to meet with Senator Middleton,” said Sharron Sample, owner of Maryland Earthworks, Inc. “I was delighted by his support and knowledge of medical cannabis. He talked about growing issues and his concerns as a local farmer. His support and the support and welcome we have received from Charles County have been invaluable to us as a new business in a new industry.”
"Today’s event really demonstrated the county’s strong commitment to promote Charles County and its businesses,” said Garen Stephens, head of operations at Chesapeake Apothecary. “The introduction to legislators was very important to Chesapeake Apothecary because it helped to establish and deepen relationships with those responsible for making policy in our industry. We sincerely appreciated the opportunity to participate in the event.”
Secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce R. Michael Gill also spoke, kicking off a series of presentations highlighting the important role that economic development plays in communities across Maryland. Other officials from the Department of Commerce attended to network with county representatives and businesses.