How to start a commercial grow operation in Maryland

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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 growers in the future. Read more about Maryland’s medical cannabis legislation and licensing requirements in the article below.

When was cannabis made legal
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Cannabis Legislation

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 in late 2016.

How many grow operations are in Maryland

Maryland is in the process of setting up its 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

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 $610,000,000 in 2021.

License requirements for marijuana growing operation owners
License requirements for marijuana growing operation owners – Image by

License requirements for marijuana growing operation owners

To become a licensed medical marijuana growing operation, applicants will have to obtain an 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.

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 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.

Consulting Companies

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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    1 comments on “How to start a commercial grow operation in Maryland”

    1. The 250,000 license fee is extortoin at the highest level. How is a smaller business going to start a business and try to compete. Other states arent doing this. California does a pilot program were if you were. Charged for cannabis in the past you have 1 rights to a grow and to operate your own business. Also I guarentte Virginia wont be doing this. I find it crazy you have to pay an extortion tax to be able to run a cannibus business in maryland. Im a small time farmer looking to get into the business. In Maryland there is a gentrification of poor/$ick people as well as black business owners. I see it first hand. The state just wants a pay out and thats all they care about. Its not about the medicine. This greatly angers me. If maryland had a program I would help teach the Outsider Indulviduals in the cannabis game. Im a grower eith over 20 years experience. Ive helped people aquire medicine they needed when they were ill… Were was the state then… I see them with there greedy hands out and It makes me sad. God didnt give us these miraculous plants to hold people down. These plants were given to man to help him threw sickness and threw health and threw joy. We were suppost to grow and share memories and have good times with these medicines ans overcome our suffering as a Buddah. Idunno all I see is corruption and oversight with these taxes and the small man will never be able to compete with big industry. Thats how they play. They only wanna give licenses to there friends in social clubs and lobbys. I put my life down to help people aquire the medicines they needed over a long time. I had my door kicked in and a Ar15 put in my face… I was shunned all over what? FREEDOM… WHAT OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON. WHAT THE DECLARATION IS WRITTEN ON. It angers me to see the social economic degridation and Holding the small man out. I can grow cannibus like a pro. Ive had people see my plants and say have you been growing for 20 years 😉 I have 20 years of knowledge and of experimentation and of sacrifice and hard work. Idunno. Im not going to let $ hold me back for entering this business. Trust and believe I know this system and there handshakes and footstomping and I wont let nothing hold me back from getting into the business. Ive helped to many people to be told oo no you cant. Cannabus is more than a $ SIGN. ITS FREEDOM AND A SPIRITUAL RIGHT I PUT A DIAMOND ON THAT! CURSE OF SHIVA! THATS Y IOVE GROWING MARIJUANA!