ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Two top Maryland lawmakers say they support expanding the state’s medical marijuana industry next year to increase participation by minority-owned businesses.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch wrote in a July letter that they support passage of “emergency legislation” in the legislative session that begins in January.

Currently, 15 growers are allowed, and but none is a black-led company. A bill designed to bolster diversity ownership failed to pass in the closing moments of this year’s legislative session.

Miller and Busch noted they would not be calling for a special session to pass legislation this year, as some leaders of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland have urged them to do. They also say a disparity study initiated by Governor Hogan will inform policy steps.

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