Maryland Cannabis Business License Application Submission Guide
By Meg Nash, Bridgette Nikisher
Nov 6, 2023
Maryland’s first adult-use licensing round is almost here! Do you have what you need? We’ve prepared a list to help guide you toward submission.
The 30-day application period opens next week on November 13, 2023, at midnight ET and closes on December 12, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET. Applications will be submitted using the Maryland OneStop portal.
This is a rolling application window, so there is no need to rush—take your time and be sure to submit a complete and compliant application.
Application resources for this licensing round, including application instructions, an evaluation worksheet, and application templates are available on the Maryland Cannabis Association (MCA) website. MCA also published an FAQ page.
- Submissions can be made via an online portal and will include:
- An application fee
- A copy of a Certificate of Good Standing
- Redacted and unredacted copies of a Business Plan, Operations Plan, and Diversity Plan
- Confirmation of social equity status
- A capitalization table
You must pay your application fee at the time of submission. This fee may be paid using ACH transfer or credit card. The fee is $5,000 for standard licenses and $1,000 for micro-licenses.
Proof of Registration
Applicant entities must be registered and in good standing with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. The fastest way to purchase a certificate for your entity is by using the Maryland Business Express Portal.
- Navigate to Business Entity Search, Certificate of Status & Document Order, and search by the name of the business or the department ID number
- Select your entity and scroll down to the blue box that says, “Order Documents”
- Under “Order Certificate of Status,” check the box next to “Order.” If you need to request copies of other documents, you can also do so on this page
- Once you have checked all the documents you would like to request, scroll down to the blue box that says “Continue” to log in and place your order
Business Plan, Operational Plan, and Diversity Plan
MCA provides template documents for the Business Plan, Operational Plan, and Diversity Plan. They have clearly outlined what they need to see in each document in the Evaluation Worksheet. Read about and download the templates and evaluation worksheet here.
Applicants are required to use their templates for submission. Please read the evaluation worksheet carefully to ensure that you are meeting their criteria. This is a pass/fail application—you don’t want to risk failing here because you did not follow instructions.
Confirmation of Social Equity Status
You will not be considered for this application round without providing proof of social equity status certification. You need to upload the verification report you received from Creative Services, Inc. which shows that you meet the criteria for a social equity applicant. More information on Social Equity Applicant verification and deadlines.
As this licensing round is only for applicants where at least 65% of ownership and control is held by individuals who have been certified by the Social Equity Verification Portal, MCA will ask for a capitalization table. This capitalization table must show the names of all owners of the company and their ownership percentages. A capitalization table is often presented in a table.
Award Notification and Timeline
Once submitted, the MCA will notify applicants whether their applications meet the minimum requirements to be included in the lottery. Applicants who have yet to receive a notification that their application was eligible have ten days to request a records review to learn why.
Number of Licenses Available
As a reminder, this is a limited licensing round. MCA has predetermined the number of awards that they will give to each license type, outlined below.
- 16 grower licenses
- 32 processor licenses
- 75 dispensary licenses
- 24 grower licenses
- 24 processor licenses
- 8 dispensary licenses
License awards will be issued on or before January 1, 2024.
Vicente LLP is here to help! With the Maryland cannabis license application portal opening on November 13, please reach out to Meg Nash at M.Nash@vicentellp.com to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can support you through this application round.