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Running a retail cannabis business can be taxing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Any small business requires a level of professionalism, but a cannabis business is unique in that the laws of each state, county, and even city differ across the U.S.
Without a consensus, even a seasoned pro in one state will still have to study up on other states, and even once you get the hang of a state’s laws, they can quickly change at any given election. Here’s everything you need to know about operating a compliant cannabis business in Maryland, and the state’s cannabis laws.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission issues medical marijuana licenses in Maryland. Recreational licenses aren’t available.
You’ll need to fill out the application. There are four types of licenses – Dispensaries, Cultivation, Manufacturing/Processing, and Transportation. Only Cultivation and Processing licenses are available at this time.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to obtain a Cultivation or Processing license.
The application fee for a cannabis grower license in Maryland is $6000. $2000 is due on stage 1, and $4000 is due on stage 2. For dispensaries, the application fee is $5000 ($1000/$4000). Academic medical centers pay a $100 license application fee.
Application fees are one-time costs, but there are also annual and biennial fees due. For growers, there’s a $250,000 biennial licensing fee, a $250,000 biennial grower fee, and another $80,000 biennial fee if they want to dispense.Dispensaries pay an $80,000 biennial licensing fee, and each agent must pay a $200 registration fee. For academic centers, $1000 licensing and renewal fees apply.
Only medical cannabis is allowed, and you’ll need a caregiver or dispensary license to serve medical cannabis patients.
This varies wildly. Expect to wait weeks to months before finding out if your application has been approved or denied.
You can’t operate a dispensary without a medical dispensary license.
Maryland is one of the easiest states to navigate, as the state’s opinion is that local city and county jurisdictions don’t have the right to prevent medical marijuana usage. Local zoning laws will need to be adhered to, however, so be sure you have the right property before any applications are filed.
Cannabis Event Information
Do I need a license to host a cannabis event in Maryland?
There are no specific laws regarding cannabis events in Maryland. Discuss with local government officials and agencies for more information. Cannabis events are regularly held in nearby Washington DC.
Do I need a separate premises license for cannabis events?
The location of your cannabis events determines which license you’ll need to pursue. If you’re attending an event like a High Times Cannabis Cup, you’re actually a vendor at that event.
Holding your own offsite events puts you in a High Times position where you need to file the proper city and county licenses. Work with the venue to ensure this is completed in a timely manner.
If hosting events on site, you’ll need to file local and county permits as required. The same state requirements for security and public display/consumption will apply to events.
Can I get a cannabis event license if I hold a retailer license?
Yes, you can hold more than one license of any type. You can even locate multiple separately licensed businesses (i.e. a cultivation and retail) in the same premises if allowed by local zoning rules.