State Roundup, December 12, 2016

STATE DEMS SEE TOUGH BUDGETING: Top state lawmakers predicted tough budget cuts Friday and said the Trump administration creates uncertainty about Maryland’s economic future. Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch promised that an expected budget gap of roughly $400 million would not be closed through new taxes or fees. But the Democrats warned local officials to prepare for unpopular spending cuts, writes Erin Cox in the Sun.

102 POT DISPENSARIES: Maryland moved another step closer to making medical marijuana available to patients with the announcement Friday of preliminary licenses for 102 dispensaries across the state, Pamela Wood reports for the Sun. The companies picked to run the dispensaries now must undergo additional review by the state and pass inspections before opening. They’ll also have to wait for Maryland’s growers and processors to produce medical cannabis products, a process that has been complicated by litigation and political wrangling.