Maryland Cannabis Dispensary Regulations Guide


Maryland Cannabis Dispensary Regulations Guide 

Maryland is making significant progress in the cannabis industry and offering ample opportunities for enthusiasts. However, keeping up with these constantly changing regulations isn’t easy, especially for newbies. If you’re stepping into this thriving industry, don’t worry, we’ve got your back with the Maryland Cannabis Dispensary Regulations Guide. Consider it your roadmap to demystify the rules, keeping you in the loop and ensuring a seamless ride through this ever-evolving market.  

What are the Cannabis Licensing Regulations in Maryland? 
In Maryland, Cannabis licensing regulations are the rules that provide guidelines on how cannabis business owners can apply for licenses, get licenses, and operate, making sure everything runs smoothly as per the cannabis provisions. 

License Requirement: 

  • Candidate must obtain a cannabis license from the Administration to operate a cannabis business. 
  • The license authorizes the holder to operate a medical and adult–use cannabis business. 
  • The validity for a license is 5 years on initial issuance and 5 years on renewal. 
  • May only be transferred in as per the provided guidelines of Subtitle 5.  

What are the Powers of Administration in Licensing? 

  • The Administration has the power to inspect cannabis licensees for compliance with regulations. 
  • A cannabis license may be revoked if good faith efforts to establish a cannabis business aren’t made within 18 months. 
  • Penalties, rescinding of licenses, and conditional license awards are within the Administration’s purview. 

Administration’s Responsibilities: 

  • The Administration shall issue various licenses, including standard, micro, incubator space, and on–site consumption licenses. 
  • Conversion of licenses issued to medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries to operate medical and adult–use cannabis businesses, subject to compliance and a conversion fee. 
  • Setting limitations and requirements for production, processing, sales, and other aspects across all license types. 
  • Dispensary license issuance with a focus on balanced geographic distribution. 
  • Adoption of regulations mandating licensees to reserve a specified cannabis amount for social equity licensees. 

What are the Cannabis License Types in Maryland and Their Limits?  

Basically, there are four cannabis license categories in Maryland.  

Standard Licenses: 

  • 75 grower licenses 
  • 100 processor licenses 
  • 300 dispensary licenses 

Micro Licenses: 

  • 100 grower licenses 
  • 100 processor licenses 
  • 10 dispensary licenses 

Incubator Space Licenses: 

  • 10 licenses 

On–Site Consumption Licenses: 

  • 50 licenses 

What are the Facility License Regulations in Maryland? 

Standard License: 

  1. For growers: 10,000 to 300,000 sq. ft. of indoor canopy. 
  1. For processors: Process up to 1,000 lbs of cannabis per year. 
  1. For dispensaries: Physical store for selling cannabis or products. 

Micro License: 

  1. For growers: Up to 10,000 sq. ft. of indoor canopy. 
  1. For processors: Process up to 1,000 lbs of cannabis per year. 
  1. For dispensaries: Delivery service without a physical storefront, limited to 10 employees. 

Incubator Space License: Enables operation of a facility for micro licensees. 

On-site Consumption License: Permits outdoor smoking, vaping, or cannabis consumption. 

What are the Ownership and Control Limit Regulations in Licensing? 

Standard Licenses and Micro Licenses: 

  • One grower licensee 
  • One processor licensee 
  • Not more than four dispensary licensees 

Incubator Space Licenses: 

  • Not more than two licensees 

On–Site Consumption Licenses: 

  • Not more than two licensees 

What are the License Surrender Regulations in Maryland? 

The license holder is prohibited from surrendering the license and applying for a new license in the same or a similar category. This limitation extends to: 

  1. Affiliates, parent companies, holding companies, or other related entities. 
  1. Candidates that have common investments. 
  1. Firms with mutual economic dependence through contractual or other connections 
  1. Individuals and firms with identical or substantially identical business or economic interests. 

What are the Maryland Dispensary Security Requirements? 
As per MCA, to operate the cannabis dispensaries legally, the dispensary must adhere to the provided security guidelines to protect the secure storage and dispensing of medical cannabis and prevent unauthorized access. These security measures must have physical infrastructure, alarm systems, video surveillance, zone division, and access control, ensuring comprehensive security and compliance. Below are the Maryland dispensary security requirements: 

1. Secure Storage Area & Premises Design: 

  • The secure room features durable construction, a single entrance, and advanced security measures. 
  • Inventory is exclusively stored within the secure room during designated hours  
  • Premises design to prevent unauthorized entry. 
  • Mandatory secure storage area or room to secure medical cannabis and cannabis products. 

2. Adequate Lighting & Surveillance: 

  • Strategically designed lighting for proper surveillance. 
  • Reliable security alarm system covering all entry points, exit points, windows and parking areas. 
  • Panic alarm button and separate alarm systems.  
  • Video surveillance with high-quality images with continuous operation of 24/7/365 coverage. 

3. Video Surveillance Requirements: 

  • High-quality, high-resolution cameras covering key areas. 
  • Continuous 24/7 operation with visible notice for visitors. 
  • Access-restricted and independently secured recordings. 
  • Retention of recordings for a minimum of 90 days. 
  • Prompt provision of recordings to authorities upon request. 

4. Access Control: 

  • Division into public and operations zones. 
  • Restricted access to service areas for qualifying patients and caregivers. 
  • Operations zone segmentation for different activities. 
  • Documented movement between zones using tamper-evident logs. 
  • Secure control of access points between zones. 

5. Zone Division and Access Control: 

  • Clear demarcation of public and operations zones. 
  • Secure control of access points between zones. 
  • Security systems and video surveillance monitoring zone separation. 
  • Inventory storage within the secure room, handled only by registered dispensary agents. 

These were the security, lighting surveillance, access control and zone division access control requirements for Maryland dispensaries to ensure compliance in the state. 

What are parthe Cannabis Operating Requirements for Licensees in Maryland? 

The Maryland Cannabis Administration provides the basic cannabis operational criteria for cannabis licensees and registrants: 

  1. Security: Involving lighting, physical security, video, and alarm prerequisites. 
  1. Safe Delivery: Ensuring secure transport and storage of cannabis. 
  1. Age Restrictions: Preventing the sale or diversion of cannabis to individuals under 21 years. 
  1. Health and Safety: Enforcing standards for cultivation, manufacture, testing, and dispensing of cannabis or cannabis products. 

What are the Essential Emergency Regulations in Maryland? 

Adhering to MCA-mandated emergency regulations is crucial for operating a compliant cannabis business. To know and understand these regulations effectively, consider the following key points:  

  • Regulatory Mandate: The emergency regulations are a direct requirement from the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA).  
  • Operational Compliance: Ensuring your cannabis business aligns with these emergency regulations is essential for legal and operational integrity.  

These pointers emphasize the importance of understanding and implementing emergency regulations to maintain regulatory compliance in your cannabis business 

Timeline for Emergency Regulations:  

Irrespective of other laws, these emergency regulations will be effective until the implementation of nonemergency regulations specified in subsection (c). 

The Administration, by July 1, 2024, is required to establish nonemergency regulations, addressing: 

  • Transition to Non-Cash System: Encouraging cannabis licensees to shift from cash transactions to traditional banking services where feasible. 
  • Internet Sales: Governing online cannabis sales. 
  • Packaging and Labeling: Implementing and enhancing requirements for cannabis product packaging and labeling. 
  • Point of Sale Procedures: Establish procedures for dispensaries to use point-of-sale technologies to verify consumer age during transactions. 
  • Health, Safety, and Security: Setting requirements for packaging and repackaging of cannabis by dispensaries in accordance with § 36–203.1. 

Additionally, these regulations aim to treat medical and adult-use cannabis in a consistent manner, where possible. 

Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer, the Maryland Cannabis Dispensary Regulations Guide is your go-to companion for opening and running a cannabis business smoothly. Gaining a deeper understanding of regulatory requirements not only ensures compliance but also paves the way for success in this thriving sector. 

If you’ got questions or need further assistance, get in touch here.  

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