Maryland Real Estate & Cannabis Regulations

Cannabis Status: Pending

A New Round of Applications for General and Social Equity is Expected to be Announced Soon

Maryland has announced the first cannabis license applications and awarded conditional licenses to 174 applicants across various categories like growers, processors, and dispensaries.

The next application round is planned for after May 2024, marking the first time that both Social Equity and general applicants will be eligible to apply. This round will also introduce consumption lounge licenses, a new category in Maryland’s cannabis licensing. Apply with WeCann!

Our experienced team of experts have researched every component of the state’s regulations, demographics, taxes and more to help you find the best compliant property in the state. Reach out to us today to see if you qualify for one of these valuable license opportunities.

Not only is Maryland a fresh untapped adult use market, every single jurisdiction will be open for cannabis uses.

Unlike most other states, local jurisdictions do not have the authority to ban cannabis uses, so that means every city and town will be available for you to pursue a cannabis license if you win in the lottery!

Name: Maryland
Population: 6,165,000
Median Income: $108,200
Cannabis Uses: Grower, Processor, Dispensary, Incubator Space License, On- Site Consumption
State Cannabis Overview: Nestled between the nation’s capital, Washington DC, and states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, where cannabis access is more restricted, Maryland stands at a crossroads of American history’s most significant sites. Its prime position along the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean establishes Maryland as a vital center for trade and commerce, boasting strategic seaports and renowned for its seafood cuisine. The state of Maryland opened for adult use licensing with its first ever adult use license applications. The state is working to diligently process the existing round of applicants. The date to announce winners is expected soon. Once winners are announced, we expect a second round of applications in 2024, this will include both social equity and general applicants.

Maryland Cannabis & Commercial Real Estate Research

On the 14th of March, Maryland’s cannabis landscape witnessed a crucial development as the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) conducted a lottery for the social equity licensing round. This lottery represented a major stride toward creating an equitable cannabis industry within the state, granting opportunities for diverse applicants through social equity considerations.

A total of 174 applicants were selected from categories spanning micro and standard growers, processors, and dispensaries. These applicants were granted conditional licenses, valid for 18 months, reflecting MCA’s intention to foster inclusivity and provide equal opportunities to those from underrepresented groups.

The conditional license mandates the awardees to fulfill certain obligations within the 18-month period, including completing a supplemental license application, securing legal control over the proposed business site, obtaining necessary zoning approvals, and registering with the State Department of Assessment and Taxation. Winning applicants will need to make sure the location they secure for their business is in the same geographic zone they applied in.

With the tight window to complete all the tasks required to convert their conditional license to a operational business, it is imperative to get a quick start on finding a compliant location that meets local and state requirements. Let our talented real estate procurement specialists help you find the ideal location for your cannabis business today.

Looking forward, Maryland plans to initiate a new licensing round later this year to further expand its cannabis industry with licenses open to both social equity and standard applicants. The upcoming round is expected to include 25 standard grower licenses, 25 processor licenses, and 120 dispensary licenses, alongside 70 micro grower licenses and 70 micro processor licenses. This next phase is eagerly anticipated by stakeholders, signaling continued growth and diversification in Maryland’s cannabis market.

The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) has completed the first round of applications for adult-use cannabis licenses as of December 2023 and is now in the process of verifying the applicants. The announcement for the lottery date to distribute these licenses is anticipated in the upcoming weeks.

There’s another application round planned for after May 2024, marking the first time that both Social Equity and general applicants will be eligible to apply. This round will also introduce consumption lounge licenses, a new category in Maryland’s cannabis licensing.

Application rules are strict to ensure fairness: an individual can only be involved in one application per license type and a maximum of two applications in any application round.

For Maryland’s second round of adult-use cannabis licensing, expected in the spring or summer of 2024, the following licenses will be available:

Standard Licenses:

  • 25 Grower licenses
  • 25 Processor licenses
  • 120 Dispensary licenses

Micro Licenses:

  • 70 Grower licenses
  • 70 Processor licenses

This upcoming licensing round is a significant step for Maryland’s cannabis market, offering opportunities for both established businesses and new entrants, including those qualifying under the Social Equity category, which aims to address past disparities in cannabis-related law enforcement.

Uses: Grower, Processor, Dispensary, Micro Grower, Micro Processor, Micro Dispensary,  Incubator Space License, On- Site Consumption

First Round Caps:

  • Standard licenses: 75 grower licenses; 100 processor licenses; and 300 dispensary licenses;
  • Micro licenses: 100 grower licenses; 100 processor licenses; and 10 dispensary licenses;
  • Incubator space licenses, 10 licenses;
  • On–site consumption licenses, 50 licenses.

A list of how many licenses will be allowed in each county can be found here.

Second Round of Licensing Caps: 

  • Standard licenses: 1. 25 grower licenses; 2. 25 processor licenses; and 3. 120 dispensary licenses
  • Micro licenses: 1. 70 grower licenses; and 2. 70 processor licenses
  • 10 incubator space licenses
  • 15 on–site consumption licenses

Distance Requirement: The Cannabis Reform Act established certain restrictions on dispensary locations specifically: a licensed dispensary may not locate within 500 feet of a pre-existing primary/secondary school in the State, a licensed child care center, registered family child care home, playground, rec center, library, or public park; OR 1,000 feet from another licensed dispensary.

Note: Local jurisdictions (political subdivisions) are not allowed to ban cannabis uses. Local jurisdictions can lower the distance requirements from the state standard setback distances, but they may not decrease them or place additional setback restrictions.

Applicant Verification

The MCA opened the Social Equity Verification Portal on September 8, to allow individuals to confirm their eligibility as a social equity applicant prior to the beginning of the licensing round. The portal will be open for a period of 60-days, closing on November 7. To request a link to this portal from the MCA, you must first complete this form: Cannabis Business Licensing Interest Form.

More information on the verification process can also be found here: Social Equity Verification ​and by referencing this guide: Maryland Social Equity Cannabis Verifica​tion A Guide for Applicants

Visit CREC Portal for more information on Maryland real estate.

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