Steps to apply for a cannabis license in Maryland
On September 1, 2023, the Maryland Cannabis Administration and the Office of Social Equity announced essential steps for those looking to apply for a cannabis license in the state. The Office of Social Equity has released eligibility criteria for cannabis social equity, and the MCA is launching a Social Equity Verification Portal.
How do I qualify as a social equity applicant in Maryland?
To qualify as a social equity applicant, one must meet specific criteria, including having at least 65% ownership and control held by individuals who meet the statutory definition of a social equity applicant. This definition includes living in or attending a public school in a disproportionately impacted area in Maryland, as identified by the Office of Social Equity.
Only verified social equity applicants can apply for a standard or micro grower, processor, or dispensary licenses in the initial licensing round. Additional information can be found on the Office of Social Equity’s website.
Who can apply for a cannabis license in Maryland?
Ready to venture into Maryland’s cannabis industry? In Round 1, all applicants must qualify as social equity applicants. What’s that? It means your business should have at least 65% ownership and control held by one or more individuals who:
- They lived in a disproportionately impacted area for at least five of the past ten years.
- They attended a public school in a disproportionately impacted area for at least five years.
- Spent at least two years at a 4-year institution of higher education in the state where at least 40% of students qualify for a Pell Grant.
What is a “Disproportionately Impacted Area?”
It’s where the action is! A disproportionately impacted area is where cannabis possession charges were 150% higher than the state’s 10-year average. Stay tuned for a map of these areas and associated zip codes in Maryland.
What do I need to apply?
Get your paperwork ready! Aside from meeting social equity criteria, your application should include:
- A detailed operational plan
- A business plan
- A detailed diversity plan
Is it free to apply?
Not quite. An application fee is $5,000 for a standard license or $1,000 for a cannabis micro-license
Standard vs. Micro License: What’s the difference?
Both types let you run a business to grow, process, or dispense cannabis and cannabis products in Maryland. Microlicenses are perfect for smaller companies, with some restrictions on how much cannabis you can handle. Microdispensaries can even offer delivery services to patients and consumers.
When can I apply?
Hold tight. The applications for the first round have yet to be released but could drop any day. We’re expecting them to drop in September 2023. Want to stay in the loop? Please fill out our forms to get notified when the application is published and receive more information on how to apply. Get ready to blaze a trail in Maryland’s cannabis scene.
How we can help?
At Cannabis License Experts, we provide you with the guidance to plan your cannabis business, acquire funding, navigate the legal requirements, and acquire the appropriate cannabis license for your operations. As the United States and Maryland specifically develop, more and more licensed producers will be needed to meet the demands of consumers.
Cannabis License Experts offers support from day one of starting your cannabis business, including strategic planning, floor plan preparation, site audits, SOPs, Preventive Control Plans (PCPs), and more.
Contact us today to discover how we can license and legalize your cannabis business to meet federal or provincial regulations.