- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - A medical marijuana firm says it has struck a research deal with a Cumberland hospital operator.

The deal announced Wednesday by Peak Harvest Health and the Western Maryland Health System marks at least the second collaboration between hospitals and companies vying for state licenses to grow cannabis for medical use. The state plans to award up to 15 cultivation licenses this year.

McCready Health on the Eastern Shore said in December it will work with would-be licensee Wellness Farms to expand access to health care.

Both marijuana companies also have struck research deals with nearby state universities.

Western Maryland Health System President Barry Ronan says he hopes the deal will help give patients access to safe and effective medicine.

The Cumberland deal was first reported by the Washington Business Journal.

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