A close-up of marijuana plants growing at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill., in September 2015. More than 3,000 patients with state-issued ID cards could start buying medical marijuana legally Nov. 9, 2015. (Seth Perlman, Associated Press file)

This state finally has a medical marijuana dispensary — but shelves are empty

BALTIMORE — Maryland regulators have allowed the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary to open its doors immediately even though the drug will not be available for months.

The Baltimore Sun reports the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved the license for the Wellness Institute of Maryland on Wednesday. The first crop is not expected to be ready until after Labor Day, but owner Michael Kline says the company will take “pre-orders” Thursday.

A year ago, the commission awarded 15 preliminary growing licenses and 15 preliminary processing licenses. If those firms are not granted final licenses by Aug. 15, the commission could revoke the companies’ opportunity to work in Maryland.

The commission’s Executive Director Patrick Jameson says the commission plans to approve more licenses after each applicant undergoes a final state inspection.

Information from: The Baltimore Sun