Maryland Adult-Use Cannabis Business Opportunities
Start Your Maryland Cannabis License Application Now
It’s official: the Maryland cannabis license application window opens on November 13.
Our team of Maryland licensing experts can help you prepare now to submit your best cannabis license application to be considered for the lottery.
Cannabis Applications are Here: Start Working With Our Maryland Licensing 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.
Enter the License Lottery with Confidence from Canna Advisors
To qualify for the lottery, Maryland is requiring cannabis business plans and materials that will be graded on a pass fail basis, rejecting anyone that does not meet the standard or provide sufficient information. 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.
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 cannabis business owners.
Below is an outline of what to expect from the state's ongoing program:
November 8, 2022 - Adult-use ballot initiative approved.
May 3, 2023 - Cannabis sales regulation bill signed into law.
July 1, 2023 - Cannabis use was legalized for adults 21 and older to use, along with possession of up to 1.5 ounces. Existing medical dispensaries were converted to dual licenses if a fee was paid.
September 8, 2023 - 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.
January 1, 2024: Begin issuing new licenses on or before this date.
May 1, 2024: Second round of cannabis licensing will begin.
2024 - 2025: Expected timeframe for retail product sales to begin.
Top 7 Considerations for Maryland Adult-Use Cannabis License 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:
- Medical dispensaries would be allowed to convert their license for a fee to adult-use.
- Social equity applicants would have priority.
- The bill specifies eight (8) types of licenses, with limits on the number of licenses by type
- Each "qualifying" applicant will be entered into a lottery for issuance of licenses.
- The state will be required to start issuing social equity licenses by or before January 1, 2024.
- The state will be required to issue license to all other applicants by May 1, 2024.
- All Maryland cannabis licensees would be both medical and recreational (adult-use).
How to Get Ahead With Maryland Cannabis Applications
Leverage our team to for critical updates for application types, limited number of applications, application scoring, and social equity priority definitions.
Maryland's Available Cannabis Licenses Types and Amounts
In this first round of cannabis applications, Maryland will award the following licenses:
- Standard Growers: 16 licenses
- Standard Processors: 32 licenses
- Standard Dispensaries: 75 licenses
- Micro Growers: 24 licenses
- Micro Processors: 24 licenses
- Micro Dispensaries: 8 licenses
How Will Cannabis Licenses Be Scored and Awarded?
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.
What Plans are Required for the License Lottery?
- Operational Plan (3 Pages)
- Business Plan (10 Pages + Financial Worksheet)
- Diversity Plan (4 Pages)
How is Social Equity Defined for Maryland Adult-Use Licenses?
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.
(3) Attended a public school 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 39 states and regions.
Apply for a Maryland Cannabis License With Proven Experts
Ready to take your dream to cannabis business to the next level? Trust in our East Coast cannabis consultants and let's put your business on the map.