Ready or not, Maryland marijuana firms face big deadline

Maryland’s beleaguered medical marijuana industry faces a critical deadline Monday, when companies the state has selected to grow the plant are required to be operational. Those that are not ready risk losing their lucrative licenses.

Already, marijuana regulators are under pressure from powerful state lawmakers to leave companies that can’t meet the deadline behind.

“The whole purpose of this whole entire thing is that we have enough growers out there to provide medicine for patients,” said Sen. Thomas V. Mac Middleton, the Southern Maryland Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee.

Monday is the finish line of a 365-day race for the 15 companies picked last August to grow marijuana.

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