A Maryland Senate committee has passed a measure to increase the number of licenses for medical marijuana growers from 15 to as many as 22.
The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill Friday that was previously passed by the House. It now goes to the full Senate.
The measure was introduced to increase minority-business ownership, but not all new licenses would go to minority businesses.
It would grant a grower's license to a black-owned company, as well as two companies that initially were bumped out of position in the licensing process to promote geographic diversity.
The remaining licenses would be decided in a process that gives preference to minority-owned businesses.
The bill raises the number of allowable marijuana processors from 15 to 30, five more than in the House bill.