Maryland Senators Debate Changes to Medical Cannabis Reform Bill That Would Expand Licenses

The legislative sessions ends on April 9.

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ANNAPOLIS — As the General Assembly races through its final week in session, lawmakers are pushing to find common ground on a bill that would raise the number of medical marijuana growers and processors in the state. The measure died on the floor of the chambers at midnight during the 2017 legislative session.

The bill aims to reform Maryland’s nascent medical cannabis industry by making changes to the licensure board and, most significantly, adding grower licenses to settle pending lawsuits and address a lack of diversity in the first batch of 15 grower applications that received pre-approval to operate in the state.

A version of the bill was passed by the House of Delegates early last month and made it through the Senate committee process with relative speed and about half a dozen amendments.

But the Maryland Senate is considering more last-minute amendments to the bill — including one to address the criminal history of medical cannabis license applicants — which means the bill could end up against a tight deadline for the second year in a row.

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