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How to start a commercial grow operation in Maryland

How to start a commercial grow operation in Maryland

Maryland is in the process of licensing its first round of 102 cannabis business applicants, making it impossible to start a growing operation in Maryland at this time; however, that doesn’t mean the state won’t need more grower’s in the future. Read more about Maryland’s medical cannabis legislation and licensing requirements in the article below.

When was cannabis made legal

Maryland legalized medical marijuana in April 2014, with the bills HB 991 and SB 923. The medical cannabis program is monitored by the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The state provides three different marijuana business licenses – dispensing, growing and processing medical cannabis. The application submission deadline was on Nov 6th, 2015. License awardees were announced late 2016.

When was cannabis made legal

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How many growing operations are in Maryland

Maryland is in the process of setting up their medical marijuana grow and dispensing system. The first stage of licensure has closed, and businesses are now undergoing further review.

During the initial round of applications, 15 licenses were awarded for growing operations, and 15 for processing facilities. 11 growing companies are currently operating, and the application process is now closed.

How much money is there in the Maryland cannabis market

The Maryland has more than 22,000 medical marijuana patients and projected sales until 2021 are expected to reach $46,000,000. Adult sales are expected to be around the $610,000,000 in 2021.

License requirements for marijuana growing operation owners

To become a licensed medical marijuana growing operation, applicants will have to obtain and available license and pre-approval to enter the second phase of the process. The second phase requires an audited financial statement for the applicant and each individual, partnership, corporation, or another entity review that has invested, or is proposed to invest, 5 percent or more of the capital of the applicant. Applicants will also need to pay the stage 2 application fee of $4,000, as well as submit:

  • Personal information (including address, date of birth and SSN) of the applicant;
  • Documentation of the submission of fingerprints of applicant to the Central Registry, and;
  • A request for the criminal history record information of the applicant to be forwarded to the Commission.
License requirements for marijuana growing operation owners

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Software tracking plays a very important role in obtaining a license. Growing operations in Maryland are required to run a full seed-to-sale software system to be able to track their product through all stages.

Further, applicants must prove that proposed facilities are under their control, ensure compliance with zoning and conform to the previously agreed upon specifications. Other steps include raising investment capital, construction of facilities, installation of equipment and systems and the hiring and training of staff.

Financial requirements

The costs associated with a growing operation license in Maryland are quite steep:

  • Application Fee: $6,000 ($2,000 Stage 1, $4,000 Stage 2)
  • Licensing Fees: $250,000 (payable in two annual installments).

Growers who also want to operate a cannabis dispensary and sell the cannabis they produce are expected to pay both license fees:

  • Grower Fee: $250,000 (payable in two annual installments)
  • Dispensary Fee: $80,000 (payable in two annual installments)



Timeframe – Image powered by

The time frame varies greatly on how long it takes to get a cannabis growing operation up and running, but it can often take one year or more to get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses, get suppliers and employees lined up, etc.

Links to consulting companies that can help open a marijuana growing operation in Maryland

Looking to start a marijuana growing operation in Maryland? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

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