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Preliminary licenses to dispense medical marijuana in Maryland will be announced in December

More than a year after they applied for one of about 100 licenses to dispense medical marijuana, the winners will be formally announced on Dec. 9.

The Maryland Cannabis Commission announced late Thursday that winning applications, as ranked by the panel's double-blind process, will be selected at a 10 a.m. meeting in Howard County on Nov. 28. The identities of the winners will be revealed 10 days later.

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The state received more than 800 applications to open dispensaries across Maryland. The law legalizing medical marijuana allows for up to two dispensaries in each of Maryland's 47 legislative districts, plus one for each of the 15 marijuana growers.

The commission turned over the applications to Towson's Regional Economic Studies Institute, which used outside experts to review and rank the applications without regard to the identity of the applicant.

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That process has drawn scrutiny from state lawmakers, who say it disregarded a mandate to ensure racial minorities were included among the winners. It has also sparked lawsuits from three of the companies who lost out on licenses to grow the drug.

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