MARYLAND

Maryland lawmakers reach compromise on medical marijuana

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The House and Senate have reached a final agreement on plans to make medical marijuana more widely available.

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Both chambers passed a bill Monday that creates 15 licenses for growers. A medical marijuana commission will be allowed to issue more licenses after two years, if it's necessary to meet demand.

The House had originally planned to allow just 10 growers, but senators said keeping the number too low could foster a monopoly. A conference committee reached this compromise last week.

The adjusted version would allow patients to obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries all over the state, and it would let growers sell the drug directly. Patients would need recommendations from specially licensed doctors.

Sen. Jamie Raskin said Monday he considers it the best medical marijuana legislation in the country.

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