Social Equity in Maryland: the First Round of Adult Use Licensing in Maryland

Licensing Details

The first application round for adult use cannabis business licenses in Maryland will open on November 13 for social equity applicants only. The Maryland Cannabis Administration also announced the number of licenses, by license type, that will be available in the first application round:

  • 16 standard grower licenses;
  • 32 standard processor licenses;
  • 75 standard dispensary licenses;
  • 24 micro grower licenses;
  • 24 micro processor licenses; and
  • 8 micro dispensary licenses.

The regional distribution of standard dispensary licenses were also provided in the announcement.

Table 1: Distribution of Standard Dispensary Licenses

The remaining for Growers, Processors, and Micro Licenses will be divided among the following regions:

  • Western Region: Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, and Washington.  
  • Southern Region: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s.
  • Central Region: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Cecil, Harford, and Howard.
  • Eastern Region: Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester.

Equal numbers of each of the remaining license types will be available, as outlined below, and micro-retail licenses are available in each region.

Application Process and Key Dates

Prior to November 3rd, 2023

First, prospective Social Equity Applicants are required to complete the MCA’s Cannabis Business Licensing Interest Form. An individual must answer each question correctly to obtain a personalized link to the Social Equity Verification Portal.

September 8th to November 7th, 2023

Within two business days of Cannabis Business Licensing Interest Form submission, the link to the Social Equity Verification Portal will be sent via email. The portal will only be open for only 60 days.

November 13th to December 12th, 2023

The application round will be open for exactly 30 days. In addition to ​meeting the criteria for a social equity applicant, an application must include:

  • A detailed operational plan
  • A business plan; and 
  • A detailed diversity plan.

During this time, an applicant must submit an application fee of $5,000 for a standard license; or $1,000 for a micro license.

January 1st, 2024 (at the Latest)

Under the Cannabis Reform Act, the Administration will begin conducting the lottery on or before January 1, 2024. Any applicant who meets the minimum requirements for licensure, on a pass-fail basis, will be placed in a randomized lottery based on license type (grower, processor, or dispensary) and county or region for which the application was submitted.

Need assistance?

Harvest 360 is a trusted partner in the often complicated process of cannabis licensing. We’re dedicated to helping prospective applicants initiate the application process efficiently and effectively, developing an application that not only wins, but is designed to be implemented. 

Schedule a free support call with our team, or refer to our Social Equity Verification Guide to begin the process. Our comprehensive support will guide you seamlessly through each step of the Maryland adult use licensing process, help you navigate start-up processes, and plan for growth.

Get your Maryland Social Equity Verification Guide delivered straight to your inbox.