Maryland Issues 174 Social Equity Marijuana Business Licenses

The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) has officially awarded 174 licensed for social equity applicants seeking to operate marijuana businesses.

The MCA recently conducted a license lottery for the social equity licensing round. Out of 1,515 eligible applicants, total of 174 applicants were selected across the micro and standard grower, processor and dispensary categories.

The 174 new licenses marks the first significant expansion of the state’s legal marijuana industry since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2022.

As part of the selection process, there were 44 different lottery pools, which were organized by geographic region and localities. The most licenses awarded for a given pool, based on population, was 11.

The full list of license awardees can be found by clicking here. A demographic breakdown of selected applicants can be viewed by clicking here​ and here​.  Frequently asked questions about the lottery process can be found by clicking here​.

According to the Maryland Cannabis Administration, there was $787 million worth of marijuana and marijuana products sold legally in 2023.

Maryland voters legalized marijuana via the initiative process in 2022. The law allows those 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana, 12 grams of marijuana concentrates and marijuana edibles infused with up to 750 mg of THC. The first licensed marijuana store opened July 1, 2023.

Under Maryland’s marijuana law marijuana is taxed at 9%, with medical marijuana patients exempt. Localities are not allowed to ban dual outlets that sell medical and recreational marijuana, nor can they establish a city specific tax. Regulations for the marijuana industry is overseen by the Maryland Cannabis Administration.

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