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The first players in Maryland’s medical marijuana industry have political ties

Thirty businesses have won approval to grow and process medical marijuana in Maryland, regulators announced Monday, putting life into the industry more than three years after lawmakers legalized the drug for medical use.

Several of the winning applicants have political ties — with major donors or high-ranking officials on their teams — including a company that hired the Maryland lawmaker who was the driving force behind the tightly regulated program.

State officials received an unexpectedly large number of applications from entrepreneurs who want to jump into the legal marijuana business. Maryland, which along with 24 states and the District has legalized the medical use of the drug, is considered a lucrative area of opportunity because it has few restrictions on who can buy the drug and limits how many businesses can participate. Patients probably will not be able to obtain medical marijuana until summer 2017 because dispensaries have not yet been approved. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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