Maryland voters decisively approved the 2022 Question 4 referendum on November 8, 2022, legalizing recreational cannabis. With an impressive 67.2% in favor and 32.8% against, the referendum signaled a significant shift in the state’s stance on cannabis. 

The new law took effect on July 1, 2023, allowing Maryland residents to enjoy recreational cannabis use [1].

According to the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) [2], the state has issued cannabis dispensary licenses to 101 companies, including notable names like Zenleaf, GreenLabs, Star Buds, and many others.

Can You Open a Cannabis Dispensary in Maryland Now?

As of November 2023, Maryland had a limited application window for cannabis dispensary licenses, which lasted for 30 days from November 13th to December 12th, 2023. During this period, interested businesses submitted applications for consideration. However, Maryland is not currently accepting new applications, as of April 2024 [3].

If you are interested in opening a cannabis dispensary in Maryland, you must stay informed about updates and announcements from the MCA. The second application window is expected to open from the 1st of May, 2024 [4]. 

The MCA will provide relevant information about future application rounds, including when the next license application window will open.

How Much Does a Dispensary License Cost in Maryland?

Opening a cannabis dispensary in Maryland involves several costs, including the application and license fees. Let’s break it down:

  • Application Fees: To apply for a dispensary license, you’ll need to pay an application fee in two phases. The first phase costs $1,000 while the second phase costs $4,000 for a combined application fee of $5,000.
  • Licensing Fees: Once approved, you’ll pay an annual licensing fee of $80,000 (renewed every two years) [5].

How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in Maryland

Opening a cannabis dispensary in Maryland requires careful planning, compliance with regulations, and fulfilling specific requirements set by the MCA. This process requires comprehensive due diligence. However, below is a general guideline to take note of:

  • Understand the legal framework
  • Create a business plan
  • Form a business entity
  • Secure funding
  • Identify suitable locations
  • Obtain necessary licenses
  • Build a knowledgeable team
  • Develop standard operating procedures (sops)
  • Cultivate relationships with suppliers
  • Implement security measures
  • Adhere to compliance requirements
  • Provide training and education to your staff on compliance

This step-by-step process can guide you through the entire process of applying and getting your license as well as establishing your own cannabis dispensary in Maryland.

Documents Required to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in Maryland

To demonstrate your eligibility for opening a dispensary in Maryland, you need to provide specific documents based on different criteria. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the required documents [6]:

Proof of Residency:

      1. Residential lease
      2. Driver’s license or government-issued identification with a valid address
      3. Mortgage loan
      4. Bank statement
      5. Utility bill addressed to you
      6. W-2/1099 form
      7. Income tax return
      8. Court document
      9. Credit card statement
      10. Housing authority record

Proof of Public School Attendance:

      1. School transcripts
      2. Enrollment records from a public school showing the school’s address
      3. If you don’t have access to school records, you can still enter and engage the CSI portal. The CSI may verify information using third-party sources if you provide the following:
      4. School name
      5. School location
      6. Dates of attendance
      7. Date of graduation (if applicable)
      8. Name while attending

Proof of 4-Year IHE Attendance in Maryland (with at least 40% Pell Grant eligibility):

  1. 2 years’ worth of transcripts or enrollment records from any of the following institutions:
  2. Bowie State University
  3. Coppin State University
  4. Morgan State University
  5. The University of Baltimore
  6. University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  7. Washington Adventist University

Additionally, you will need to provide the following information:

  • School name
  • School location
  • Dates of attendance
  • Major
  • Degree
  • Date of graduation (if applicable)
  • Name while attending

These requirements are specific to opening a dispensary in Maryland, as they may not be the same for other states. You can make the process seamless and less financially draining by collaborating with an expert with an in-depth understanding of the Maryland market and regulations.

Do You Need a Business-Friendly, Compliant Location for Your Maryland Dispensary?

Ready to make your mark in Maryland’s cannabis industry? Look no further than Zoned Properties, your trusted partner in cannabis real estate. Our team of experts is here to make your journey to opening a successful dispensary smooth. 

From finding the perfect location to navigating regulations and securing permits, we have the know-how to get you there. Join us to bring your cannabis dispensary to life. Contact us today for a professional consultation.