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Medical marijuana grown in D.C. stays in D.C.

Thursday - 3/29/2012, 3:13pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Residents in the District are getting closer to being able to buy medical marijuana.

But residents of Maryland and Virginia shouldn't get any ideas. They won't be able to come into the city to buy marijuana once it's on the store shelves.

Federal and local law prohibits people from transporting marijuana across state lines. Even if they have a qualifying illness and see a doctor who is based in the District, Maryland and Virginia, residents cannot obtain marijuana from D.C. dispensaries.

That's why the medical marijuana that will be sold and consumed in the District must be grown in the city as well.

Patients who qualify for the drug must be D.C. residents and will only be allowed to transport unopened packages of marijuana from the store to their homes.

The seal can only be broken once the marijuana is in the patient's home. Once it's opened, it cannot be transported anywhere else.

The D.C. Department of Health will announce the groups that qualified for licenses to operate the 10 ten medical marijuana cultivation centers on Friday. The five dispenseries will be announced in June.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)