Maryland Adult-Use Cannabis Business Opportunities

Start Your Maryland Cannabis License Application Now

It’s official: the Maryland cannabis sales regulation bill was  signed into law on May 3, 2023. With the overwhelming passage of adult-use cannabis in Maryland in this past November’s election and emergency bill signing, those seeking to win an adult-use license should start planning now. Our team of Maryland license application consultants can help you prepare now to submit your best license application.

Medical Dispensaries who converted their license to include adult use commenced sales on July 1, 2023. Over the holiday weekend, a whopping $10.4M in sales was recorded, about 85% being adult use sales. Read more for license application specifics as provided in HB 556.


Applications are Here: Start Work with our Maryland Cannabis License Experts Now

On September 8, 2023, Maryland released their final regulations and opened  their Social Equity Verification portal for the first round of applicants. The window to submit your Maryland cannabis business application will be between November 13 – December 12. 

Our solid track record of cannabis consulting work in Maryland began with winning a significant number of licenses for clients in the the first round of medical marijuana licenses in the 2015-2016 medical marijuana application cycle and continued with the 2019 license application cycle.

Contact our team of experts to start your business planning and financial modeling now. 

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How to Apply for a Maryland Adult-Use Cannabis License

Adult-Use Implementation Timeline Overview and Key Dates

Cannabis is on the move in Maryland and nearly every month of the next few years involves a key milestone for prospective business owners. Below is an outline of what to expect from the state.

November 8, 2022 - Adult-use ballot initiative approval

May 3, 2023 - Cannabis sales regulation bill signed into law.

July 1, 2023 - Became legal for adults 21 and older to use marijuana and possess up to 1.5 ounces. Existing medical dispensaries were converted to dual licenses if a fee was paid.

September 8: The Social Equity Verification portal opened on Maryland's Cannabis Administration website. Be sure to fill out a Cannabis Business Licensing interest form to request a link to the portal. The portal closes November 7.

November 13: The application window opens for the first round of cannabis business license applications reserved for social equity opens.

January 1, 2024: Begin issuing new licenses on or before this date.

May 1, 2024: Second round of licensing will begin.

2024 - 2025:  Expected timeframe for retail sales to begin.

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Top 7 Considerations for Maryland Adult-Use Licenses Cannabis Applications

The Maryland cannabis industry isn't without its own set of unique requirements and regulations. No matter how you plan on joining, be sure to understand these seven considerations when applying for a license:

  1. Medical dispensaries would be allowed to convert their license for a fee to adult-use.
  2. Social equity applicants would have priority.
  3. The bill specifies eight (8) types of licenses, with limits on the number of licenses by type
  4. Each "qualifying" applicant will be entered into a lottery for issuance of licenses.
  5. The state will be required to start issuing social equity licenses by or before January 1, 2024.
  6. The state will be required to issue license to all other applicants by Mary 1, 2024.
  7. All Maryland cannabis licensees would be both medical and recreational (adult-use).

How to Get Ahead: Maryland Adult-Use License Applications

Follow critical updates for application types, limited number of applications, application scoring, and social equity priority definitions

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Maryland Adult-Use Cannabis: License Types and Number of Licenses

Based on the current legislation in progress, Maryland will issue licenses in limited numbers for these eight (8) categories:


How Will Licenses Be Scored and Awarded in Maryland?

Each "qualifying" applicant will be entered into a lottery for issuance of licenses.

The Cannabis Division must determine whether an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the lottery on a pass-fail basis, after evaluating an applicant’s detailed operational plan, business plan, and detailed diversity plan.


How is Social Equity Defined for Adult-Use Licenses in Maryland?

The pending Maryland bill defines Social Equity applicants as:

An applicant for a cannabis license or registration who has at least 65% ownership and control held by one or more individuals who:

(1) have lived in a disproportionately impacted area for at least 5 of the 10 years immediately preceding the submission of the application

(2) attended a public school in a disproportionately impacted area for at least 5 years, or

(3) for at least 2 years, attended a 4-year institution of higher education in the State where at least 40% of the individuals who attend the institution of higher education are eligible for a Pell Grant.


Maryland Adult-Use Market Conditions

Maryland, the 20th state in the nation to approve recreational (adult-use) marijuana, is positioned to generate up to $600 million in the first year of adult-use and up to $1 billion in year 4 of adult-use sales.

With one of the most robust medical marijuana markets in the US, Maryland residents and cannabis entrepreneurs should expect a smooth transition to adult-use.

If you're looking to stay on top of the process and set your license application up for the highest chance of success, we invite you to leverage our seasoned team of East Coast cannabis consultants, with experience in 36+ states and regions.

Apply for a Maryland Cannabis License With Our East Coast Consulting Experts


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