How to Open a Dispensary in Maryland

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A few years ago, Maryland completed the first round of medical cannabis dispensary license applications. At that time over 1,000 applicants competed for a total of 102 licenses. Approved candidates are now in the second phase of the process. This is where they will be required to submit a detailed business plan. The following is everything you will need to know to open a dispensary in Maryland.

Legalization in Maryland

When was cannabis made legal

Legalization in Maryland – Image Source

Maryland legalized medical cannabis early in 2014, when the governor signed HB 991 and SB 923 into law. The state’s medical cannabis program is monitored by the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

There are three different types of cannabis business licenses that were available: dispensing, growing and processing. The application deadline was in 2015. License awardees were announced late 2016, and as such are now advancing onto the next stage of the application process.

How Many Dispensaries Operate in Maryland?

The application window for the first round of dispensary has closed and the state is now in the process of getting its dispensary program set up.

During this round, a total of 1081 applications were submitted to the Commission. A total of 132 were approved: 102 of those were for dispensaries.

What is Maryland’s Cannabis Market Worth?

How much money is there in the Maryland cannabis market

What is Maryland’s cannabis market worth? – Image powered by

The Maryland medical cannabis patient base includes more than 22 thousand people. Projected medical cannabis sales in the state are expected to reach 46 million by 2021. Recreational sales in the same year are expected to be around the 610 million mark.

Licensing Requirements

Upon first obtaining the required pre-approval, applicants will need to produce a financial statement, along with a fee of 4 thousand dollars. Personal ID will also be required; applicants will also be expected to be fingerprinted for the Central Registry, as well as pass a background check.

Applicants must also prove that they are compliant with all local laws and regulations, including any zoning laws.

Financial Requirements

When acquiring a dispensary license, you can expect to incur the following costs:

  • Stage Two application fee (for two applications): 8 thousand
  • Bi-annual licensing fee for growing (every other year): 250 thousand
  • Bi-annual licensing fee for dispensing (every other year): 80 thousand


There is no dedicated timeframe for opening up a cannabis dispensary in the state of Maryland. As with other states, you should prepare to spend at least a year getting all of your affairs in order. This includes not only acquiring a license, but finding employees and raising the requisite funds.

Consulting Companies

The following consultants can help you along the way in your journey to open a medical cannabis dispensary in Maryland.


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