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marijuana

Rachel Baye

The General Assembly voted Monday morning to pass a bill designed to open medical marijuana growing to minority-owned businesses, and specifically to African-Americans. The bill was the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus’s top priority in Annapolis this year.

Rachel Baye

A bill intended to diversify Maryland’s medical marijuana industry gained initial approval in the state Senate Monday night. The legislation is the state Legislative Black Caucus’s top priority in Annapolis this year.

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The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus has for more than a year been fighting to bring more African American-owned businesses into the state’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. Legislation aimed at doing that has passed the House of Delegates and was considered Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee. But the hearing raised questions about the effects the proposed changes would have on the price of the drug.

Rachel Baye

To mark the start of the General Assembly session Wednesday, the state Legislative Black Caucus announced plans to push for bail reform, money for historically black colleges and universities, and the development of State Center in Baltimore. And the powerful group took a firm stand on medical marijuana.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A study released this month shows 40 percent of all disqualifications for Baltimore City Police applicants were due to marijuana use in 2017. Many in the city would like to see that policy revoked.

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As the General Assembly hurdles toward Monday night’s deadline, one measure that still hangs in the balance would increase the number of business that can get licenses to grow medical marijuana. The bill aims to give more minority-owned businesses a shot at growing or processing the drug.

The state House of Delegates voted Friday to reprimand Baltimore County Del. Dan Morhaim for failing to disclose his relationship with an applicant for a medical marijuana license. Morhaim helped craft the state’s medical marijuana laws and licensing framework while working as a consultant for a company applying for a license.

Brett Levin / Flickr / Creative Commons

Twenty states and the District of Columbia, have medical marijuana programs. Patients can either buy or grow marijuana for things like pain relief. The General Assembly took a first, cautious stab at creating a medical marijuana program last year. Marijuana was to be made available through academic medical centers. But, none of the centers in Maryland signed up to participate. Legislators decided this past session to allow certified doctors to write prescriptions for medical marijuana that can be bought from licensed growers and dispensaries.