Maryland Adult-Use Cannabis Business Opportunities
Start Your Maryland Cannabis License Application Now
With the overwhelming passage of adult-use cannabis in Maryland in this past November’s election, 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.
The latest development the adult-use rollout is the Maryland House voting on March 10, 2023, to pass Bill 556 that would create a legal framework and tax structure to enable recreational (adult-use) marijuana to be sold in stores as soon as July 1. Medical dispensaries would be allowed to convert their license for a fee to adult-use. Though the bill still needs to pass through the Senate, it’s a first look at how Maryland plans to move forward with their cannabis program licensing. Read more before for more license application specifics as provided in HB 556.
Start Work with our Maryland Cannabis License Experts Now
While the state lawmakers are working out the final details of the application and licensing process, those hoping to win an adult-use license in Maryland should start now on the important fundamentals to be ready when details are released by the state.
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. And join our post-election webinar to learn more about positioning yourself to win an adult-use license in Maryland.
Top Business Consulting Services for the Maryland Cannabis Market
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
July 1, 2023 - Becomes legal for adults 21 and older to use marijuana and possess up to 1.5 ounces
August / September 2023: Projected date for the release of the application and the first round of licensing to begin
October / November 2023: Projected window for application review, with compliant applications entered into a lottery.
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
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:
- 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 Mary 1, 2024.
- 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
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:
- Standard Growers: 75 licenses
- Standard Processors: 100 licenses
- Standard Dispensaries: 300 licenses
- Micro Growers: 100 licenses
- Micro Processors: 100 licenses
- Micro Dispensaries: 200 licenses
- Incubator Spaces: 10 licenses
- On-Site Consumption Lounges: 50 licenses
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.