The eligibility requirements to be a social equity applicant for the upcoming Fall 2023 Cannabis License Application Period have been made public by the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) and the Office of Social Equity (OSE) at ose.maryland.gov. Since the social equity criteria have been released, applicants who qualify can begin the process to establish their eligibility. Maryland’s first round of adult-use licenses will only be granted to qualified applicants.
Here is all you need to know about the dates, online portal, eligibility, and inspection requirements in Maryland:
All About First Round of Licensing for New Cannabis Licensees
The state will likely issue its first adult-use permits on or before January 1, 2024, and the application procedure will likely begin in the fall of 2023. Following are the type and number of licenses available:
- Standard licenses: 20 growers, 40 processors, and 80 dispensary
- Micro licenses: 30 growers, 30 processors, and 10 dispensary
- 10 Incubator Space licenses
- 15 on-site consumption lounge licenses
The only applicants eligible for the first-round licenses are anticipated to be social equity candidates. One or more people who hold 65% of the company’s ownership and control must be social equity applicants:
- Been a resident of a disproportionately impacted area (DIA) for five out of the previous ten years before submitting an application.
- Studied for at least five years in a public school within a DIA.
- Been enrolled for at least two years in a 4-year institution of higher learning in a state where at least 40% of students at that institution are Pell Grant eligible.
- Meet other requirements that will be decided upon by the Commission in light of the findings of a disparity evaluation.
Second Licensing Round for Maryland Cannabis Licensees
The second licensing round might be open to all applicants. The outcome of a disparity study will eventually establish whether there is a compelling reason to implement remedial measures to aid women and people of color in the cannabis sector. Micro-licenses will only be accessible to social equity applicants during the second round of licensing.
It is expected that the second licensing round would start on or after May 1, 2024.
Which Agency Will Overlook The License Application Process?
The social equity verification and licensing application process will be handled by the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA), a new organization established to oversee medical and adult-use marijuana.
Online Portal To Apply For Maryland Cannabis License
The MCA has additionally launched the Social Equity Verification Portal in an effort to help potential candidates determine their social equity status before the application period for recreational licenses starts later this year.
The portal is slated to begin on September 8 and will be accessible for 60 days before closing down on November 7.
Maryland Inspection Requirements
A licensed medical marijuana or medical cannabis processing facility may be inspected by the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission to make sure it complies with the state’s licensing requirements.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) Enforcement and Compliance Investigator, working under the supervision of a Regional Enforcement Supervisor, conducts independent work conducting announced and unannounced investigations of medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries licensed by the MMCC. Inspecting equipment, raw materials, processed materials, containers, labeling, and everything else therein will be part of industry inspections that take place throughout the state of Maryland:
- Financial/sales/shipping/pricing/employee/delivery data
- Inventory and medical cannabis;
- Examine any machinery, tools, or equipment used to manufacture marijuana.
If you want to take advantage of these Maryland cannabis licensing opportunities, you should start preparing right away. The deadlines for current medical license holders and first-round adult-use license holders, respectively, are July 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024.