Gov. Wes Moore Creates Blind Trust To Shield Him From His $2.5 Million Portfolio

Gov. Wes Moore takes the podium. Screenshot via @govwesmoore on Instagram.

What’s happening?

Gov. Wes Moore created a blind trust to manage his $2.5 million portfolio, which will keep him from knowing or managing his personal financial holdings to avoid a conflict of interest between his investments and his role as governor, Sam Janesch reports for the Baltimore Sun.

Moore owns significant holdings in Green Thumb Industries, a cannabis company that operates medical dispensaries in Maryland, and in the Baltimore-based athletic clothing company Under Armour. The governor is expected to sign a bill this month that would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to convert their licenses to recreational licenses starting July 1. Meanwhile Under Armour benefits from state funds and programs. 

How does a blind trust work?

Moore appointed a trustee to manage his assets in the blind trust, and under the terms, he won’t be permitted to know whether the trustee, Baltimore investment management firm Brown Advisory, will keep or sell his interests. Moore will only be allowed to know his total income from the trust when he files his personal income tax returns.

By creating a blind trust, Moore had to appoint a trustee free of personal relationships with him, including family and friends. Any communication between Moore and the trust will have to be in writing and submitted to the State Ethics Commission.

Anything else I should know? 

The terms of Moore’s trust are more restrictive than that of former Gov. Larry Hogan’s. Hogan maintained ownership of his real estate business and other companies during his tenure and received updates from the trustees managing his portfolio. His brother took over the day-to-day operations at his companies, which he was not allowed to participate in while serving as governor.

You can read more here. 

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